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December 17, 2009

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Patients get hepatitis C from poor hygiene

SLOPPY hygiene has been blamed for the hepatitis C infection of 19 kidney patients during dialysis treatment in Anhui Province.

Investigation conducted by experts from Anhui's Lu'an City, which administers Huoshan County, discovered that staff of the dialysis center at the Huoshan People's Hospital failed to disinfect or sterilize the equipment after the treatment of each patient, the People's Daily reported yesterday.

The experts said the hospital did not have separate dialysis rooms for patients, and poor management and disinfection measures caused cross-infection of the potential deadly liver disease.

The investigation also showed nine of the 28 infected had hepatitis C before receiving dialysis. A 58-year-old patient, surnamed Wang, who had hepatitis C died last Sunday yet the hospital did not say what was the cause of death.

Ye Yijun, director of the hospital, has been sacked. Two deputy hospital heads and the staffers responsible have received administrative penalties.

The local health authority said the infected patients will get free treatment and health checks for family members.

The county closed the hospital's dialysis center on December 9 for an overhaul that officials said would take about 10 days, during which health experts would help staff redesign the clinic, regulate work procedures and train doctors and nurses.

Meanwhile, the Huoshan People's Hospital would take 12 patients to undergo dialysis treatment at the Lu'an City medical center.

Families of the victims said they are planning to sue the hospital for compensation.


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