Case studies highlight HCV health care transmission risk



Hospitals should carefully monitor equipment for hepatitis C virus contamination and the possibility of health care transmission, according to a Feb. 27 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The CDC report focuses on two specific cases of health care–transmitted HCV. In 2010, a patient without HCV in a New Jersey hospital was treated by an anesthesiologist who had immediately beforehand treated someone with HCV. Despite the single commonality between the two patients, patient A contracted HCV.

In 2011, a patient in Wisconsin with a history of diabetes and chronic renal disease was diagnosed with HCV-4, a subtype of the disease that is rare in that part of the world. The infection occurred in 2009, when this patient had a kidney transplant at the same time as a patient with HCV-4 also was having a kidney transplant. The two transplants shared a surgeon, but the source of infection was likely a perfusion machine where an HCV-positive kidney and an HCV-negative kidney were both stored without cleaning the machine.

“These cases illustrate the importance of partnerships and communication between public health and health care professionals to ensure that basic infection control and injection safety practices are optimized wherever health care is delivered,” the CDC investigators concluded.

Read the full report in the MMWR (2015;64:165-70).

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