HCV transmission at hemodialysis clinic suggests poor infection control - Nguyen DB, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015;doi:10.1017/ice.2015.247.

Recent data confirmed that hepatitis C virus was transmitted to several patients at a dialysis clinic during a 6-year duration, underscoring the importance of aggressive infection control measures.

“Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is several times more prevalent among hemodialysis patients than the general U.S. population,” CDC researchers wrote. “Outbreaks of new HCV infections have been reported in U.S. dialysis centers, typically associated with lapses in infection control (IC), including improper parenteral medication handling and preparation, inadequate cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces between patient treatments and poor hand hygiene and glove use.”

During an epidemiologic investigation, the researchers evaluated HCV test results of all patients treated at an outpatient hemodialysis clinic in Philadelphia from January 2008 through April 2013. HCV tests were performed at admission and then annually for patients deemed susceptible to infection. All patients also underwent monthly screening for serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT); those with elevated ALT were tested for HCV antibodies.

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