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Poor Infection Control Caused Kidney Unit Hep C Infections

Hemodialysis unit failed to adhere to CDC best practice recommendations

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to adequately test patients for hepatitis C and poor infection control led to the infection with the virus of nine hemodialysis patients in New York City, according to a report published in the Mar. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Renee Hallack, of New York State Department of Health, and colleagues report on an investigation into a private outpatient facility that treated between 70 and 100 patients at 30 dialysis stations each day. In May and July 2008, three cases of seroconversion from anti-hepatitis C virus negative to anti-hepatitis C virus positive were reported to the state health department and a subsequent investigation revealed that from 2001 to 2008 there were an additional six cases.

The investigators found that the facility failed to routinely test patients for hepatitis C, and did not adhere to the CDC's recommendations for testing. There were also deficiencies in infection control policies, procedures and staff training.

"Hemodialysis units should routinely assess compliance to ensure complete and timely adherence with CDC recommendations to reduce the risk for hepatitis C virus transmission in this setting," the authors write.

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