CDC Urging Dialysis Providers and Facilities to Assess and Improve Infection Control Practices to Stop Hepatitis C Virus Transmission in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

February 4, 2016    |   By: Calevir

The CDC issued a health advisory urging dialysis providers and facilities to assess and improve infection control practices to stop Hepatitis C viral transmission in patients undergoing hemodialysis. A health advisory may not require immediate attention but provides important information for a specific incident or situation.

The CDC received an increased number of reports of HCV infections between 2014 and 2015 associated with hemodialysis clinics in eight different states.  While investigations are ongoing initial evaluation demonstrated lapses in infection control associated with these infections.

Dialysis facilities should continuously assess and look to improve their infection control policies and practices. Screening practices should always be implemented regardless of the presence of an infection.

Recommendations to stop the transmission of Hepatitis C include:

  • Evaluate infection control practices in all facilities and ensure adherence to infection control standards.
  • If gaps are identified, promptly address to protect patients health and safety
  • Ensure staff is aware of and trained to implement infection control guidelines
  • Follow CDC recommendation for HCV screening of hemodialysis patients and management of patients who test positive
  • Immediately report any case of new HCV infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis to the state or local health department
  • Be transparent. Inform patients if HCV transmission is suspected to have occurred within the facility, and explain steps being taken to address the problem
  • Investigate any acute HCV infection in a hemodialysis patient for a possible healthcare-associated etiology

For more details please visit this website for the complete advisory: http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00386.asp

For continued sharing and learning, remember to report adverse events, near misses and unsafe conditions to The Center for Patient Safety, your Patient Safety Organization.

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