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Dirty Needles May Be Cause Of Hepatitis B Outbreak In Nursing Home

syringe.jpgWe recently discussed the Hepatitis B outbreak at a North Carolina Nursing Home that has take the lives of several patients.  Now as authorities look for the source of this outbreak, they are beginning to look at dirty needles as the source for spreading the disease from one patient to another.

According to news reports, the owner of the facility (GlenCare of Mount Olive) claims that Division of Public Health investigators told him that the outbreak stems from five medical technicians had reused diabetes pens when checking patients’ blood sugar levels.

So far, eight patients at the nursing home have tested positive for Hepatitis B, and five of them have died. Rarely found in a healthcare setting, Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids and is commonly associated with drug use.

Certainly, if dirty needles really are the culprit for this Hepatitis outbreak, these technicians were negligent in violating ‘medical care 101’.  What makes this situation even more alarming is the fact that five (allegedly) technicians were using the dirty needles.  Who is training these people?

For laws related to North Carolina nursing homes, look here.

Related:

Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Among Persons Undergoing Blood Glucose Monitoring in Long-Term–Care Facilities — Mississippi, North Carolina, and Los Angeles County, California, 2003–2004

Hepatitis B outbreak at NC nursing home todaysthv.vom November 11, 2010

Hollow-bore needlestick injuries in a tertiary teaching hospital- epidemiology, education and engineering (PDF) By R Michael Whitby and Mary-Louise McLaws

Best infection control practices for intradermal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular needle injections (PDF) HUTIN, Yvan and MEMBERS OF THE INJECTION SAFETY BEST PRACTICES DEVELOPMENT GROUP et al.

Home Health Care Patients and Safety Hazards in the Home- Preliminary Findings (PDF) Robyn R.M. Gershon, MT, MHS, DrPH; Monika Pogorzelska, MPH; Kristine A. Qureshi, RN, DNSc; Patricia W. Stone, PhD; Allison N. Canton, BA; Stephanie M. Samar, BA; Leah J. Westra, BA; Marc R. Damsky, MPH; Martin Sherman, PhD

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