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CDC urging dialysis providers and facilities to assess and improve infection control practices to stop hepatitis C virus transmission in patients undergoing hemodialysis
  • Published Date:
    January 27, 2016
  • Series:
    HAN ; 386
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-65.15 KB]

  • Description:
    Friday, January 27, 2016, 10:30 EST (10:30 AM EST)


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received an increased number of reports of newly acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis. Infection control lapses in dialysis care could expose patients to HCV. Any case of new HCV infection in a patient undergoing hemodialysis should prompt immediate action. CDC is urging dialysis providers and facilities to:

    1) Assess current infection control practices and environmental cleaning and disinfection practices within the facility to ensure adherence to infection control standards;

    2) Address any gaps identified by the assessments;

    3) Screen patients for HCV, following CDC guidelines, to detect infections, determine treatment potential, and halt secondary transmission; and

    4) Promptly report all acute HCV infections to the state or local health department.

    CDC has received an increased number of reports of acute HCV infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis. Between 2014 and 2015, CDC has been contacted about 36 cases of acute HCV infection in 19 different hemodialysis clinics in eight states. While investigations are ongoing, so far, HCV transmission between patients has been demonstrated at nine of those clinics, based on epidemiologic and viral sequencing evidence. Lapses in infection control (e.g., injection safety, environmental disinfection, and hand hygiene) were commonly identified at these facilities. Although the exact means of transmission could not be discerned, these lapses all could potentially contribute to HCV transmission. The increase in acute HCV infections might be due, in part, to improved screening and awareness of the potential for HCV infection in the hemodialysis setting. Regardless, this increase underscores the widespread potential for patients to acquire serious infections during dialysis care.

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