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Hospital chiefs removed after HCV infections

THE senior officials in two hospitals in north China have been removed from their posts after 20 patients were found infected with hepatitis C after receiving dialysis there.

The Ministry of Health announced the punishments yesterday on its Website.

The ministry ordered a probe into the two hospitals in Taiyuan, capital city of Shanxi Province, after receiving reports about six patients on February 27. The patients underwent dialysis at the Taiyuan Hospital for Employees of Public Transport System.

The ministry did not disclose what diseases the patients had but dialysis may be used for very ill patients who have lost kidney function.

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting the liver. The infection, often asymptomatic, may result in liver failure or even liver cancer. HCV is spread by blood-to-blood contact.

The health authority's probe found 47 patients had received dialysis in the two months from December 2008 at the hospital. Twenty of them were infected with HCV. And 14 of the infected had undergone dialysis at Shanxi Coal Industry Central Hospital.

The health ministry blamed the infections on poor management. The hospitals had no proper policies for administering dialysis and repeatedly used equipment for dialysis which should have been disposed of after one use. That created opportunities for cross infections, the ministry said.

The hospitals were ordered to suspend dialysis on March 3.

The deputy directors of the hospitals were removed from their posts and managing staff with the dialysis units were sacked, the ministry said.


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