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News2010August › Hepatitis infection linked to hospitals' IV equipment › August 2010

Hepatitis infection linked to hospitals' IV equipment

If you've just been to hospital, and have recently developed hepatitis - guess where you got it from? Researchers have discovered that it's common for patients to get infected with the virus from hospital equipment - but they don't know the extent of the problem

If you've just been to hospital, and have recently developed hepatitis - guess where you got it from? Researchers have discovered that it's common for patients to get infected with the virus from hospital equipment - but they don't know the extent of the problem. The problem came to light after seven patients from two clinics developed hepatitis. As all of them were admitted for a routine endoscopy examination, doctors initially thought the problem was something to do with the endoscopic equipment. But researchers eventually traced the infection back to the IV (intravenous) drip that was used to deliver anaesthesia during the procedure. It seems the anaesthesiologist used the same syringe - which was contaminated with hepatitis B and C viruses - when he or she prepared all the IV drips. Researchers admit that infection from contaminated equipment in hospitals is common - but they have no idea about the extent of the problem, and how many people have been unwittingly infected. (Source: Gastroenterology, 2010; 139: 163-70).


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