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December 9, 2009

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30 patients in dialysis treatment get hepatitis C

AT least thirty kidney patients were infected with hepatitis C while being treated at a county dialysis center in Anhui Province, reported China National Radio yesterday.

A victim surnamed Chu said he found he was infected with the potential fatal liver disease after more than 100 treatments of blood dialysis in Huoshan County People's Hospital in the province, the report said.

The uremia patient said he felt uncomfortable for a long time and thought it was because of his kidney disease. Yet a blood test in the hospital showed he was infected with hepatitis. Chu took another test in other hospital and confirmed the first test.

Chu said he suspected he got the disease from contaminated equipment at the clinic. He said he called other patients and found more than 30 victims with the same condition.

All became infected with the disease after they started coming to the center for their blood dialysis.

Hepatitis C often has no easily observable symptoms, yet can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and cancer.

A doctor with the hospital surnamed Wang confirmed that there are patients infected with hepatitis after blood dialysis in the hospital, yet did not say how many were infected.

Uremia patient have to live on regular blood dialysis as their kidneys cannot excrete waste products into the urine but retain them in the blood. About 60 kidney patient do their regular blood dialysis in the Huoshan hospital.

A vice head of the hospital surnamed Zhu said hepatitis is a common disease for kidney patients, depending on the blood dialysis. He said the potential risk cannot be eliminated even in the world's best hospitals.

According to the report, still other patients may also have been infected. Wang said the center is investigating.


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