Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hepatitis C Infections in Hospitals Show Need for Tight Infection Control Practices


In both cases, there were breaches in safety rules, CDC reports

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Two cases of hepatitis C infection that occurred during routine surgeries highlight the need for hospitals to tighten infection control to prevent more transmissions, officials said Friday.

In one case, two New Jersey patients (one of them had hepatitis C) received an injection of the anesthetic propofol from the same medication cart. In the other instance, two Wisconsin patients (one of them had hepatitis C) received kidneys that had been prepared for transplantation on the same machine, according to an article in the Feb. 27 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The source of the infection in the Wisconsin case was not pinpointed, said Gwen Borlaug, coordinator of the HAI Prevention Program at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, but "we identified breaches in infection control practices in the operating room that likely resulted in the transmission."

In the New Jersey case, the infection was traced to contaminated equipment that was taken from one operating room to another. Dr. Barbara Montana, medical director of the communicable disease service at the New Jersey Department of Health, said, "Fortunately, these infections can be prevented when health care providers follow basic infection prevention practices."

According to the CDC, 22 outbreaks of health-care-associated hepatitis infections occurred from 2008 through 2014. Most of the outbreaks occurred in outpatient care centers and long-term care facilities.

These outbreaks typically involved unsafe injection practices, such as using medication vials on multiple patients or reusing needles or syringes, Borlaug said. Other outbreaks have occurred as a result of contaminated items, such as blood sugar testing devices, she said.

"It is imperative to always practice sound infection control measures, such as cleaning and disinfecting used medical equipment and patient care items, and observing safe injection practices," Borlaug said.

Patients can also play a part in preventing these infections, Montana said.

"Patients should ask questions about infection prevention practices, such as whether health care providers are following good infection prevention practices, including hand washing and using a new needle/syringe for each patient and cleaning equipment between patients," she said.

source : Hepatitis C Infections in Hospitals Show Need for Tight Infection Control Practices

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