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To stop transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in association with myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) at a cardiology clinic.
Outbreak investigation and quasispecies analysis of HCV hypervariable region 1 genome.
Outpatient cardiology clinic.
Patients undergoing MPI.
Case patients met definitions for HBV or HCV infection. Cases were identified through surveillance registry cross-matching against clinic records and serological screening. Observations of clinic practices were performed.
During 2012–2014, 7 cases of HCV and 4 cases of HBV occurred in 4 distinct clusters among patients at a cardiology clinic. Among 3 case patients with HCV infection who had MPI on June 25, 2014, 2 had 98.48% genetic identity of HCV RNA. Among 4 case patients with HCV infection who had MPI on March 13, 2014, 3 had 96.96%–99.24% molecular identity of HCV RNA. Also, 2 clusters of 2 patients each with HBV infection had MPI on March 7, 2012, and December 4, 2014. Clinic staff reused saline vials for >1 patient. No infection control breaches were identified at the compounding pharmacy that supplied the clinic. Patients seen in clinic through March 27, 2015, were encouraged to seek testing for HBV, HCV, and human immunodeficiency virus. The clinic switched to all single-dose medications and single-use intravenous flushes on March 27, 2015, and no further cases were identified.
This prolonged healthcare-associated outbreak of HBV and HCV was most likely related to breaches in injection safety. Providers should follow injection safety guidelines in all practice settings.
Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission at outpatient hemodialysis clinics is well documented, but little is known about HCV transmission risks in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) providing hemodialysis services. LTCFs can provide onsite hemodialysis for residents by contracting with a licensed hemodialysis clinic to either provide its staff to the LTCF or to train LTCF staff as caregivers. In August 2019, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) was notified about an HCV seroconversion in patient A at a LTCF providing onsite hemodialysis. Methods: Three residents (including patient A) were receiving hemodialysis at the LTCF in August 2019; patients B and C had chronic HCV infection upon admission. Records were reviewed for medical history, behavioral risk factors, and healthcare exposures. We conducted onsite infection control assessments and interviewed staff. Serum specimens were collected for all 3 patients in August 2019 and HCV tested for genetic similarity using Global Hepatitis Outbreak Surveillance Technology (GHOST). Results: The facility reported initiating onsite hemodialysis in November 2018; facility staff were trained by a dialysis provider. Patient A, admitted in September 2018, was anti-HCV negative in June 2019 and both anti-HCV and HCV RNA positive in July 2019. Patient B was admitted in December 2018, discharged for 1 month in May 2019, and then readmitted. Patients A and B reported previous injection drug use, and they were not observed by staff to use during their stay and had limited mobility. Patient A was wheelchair confined and B was bed confined. Patient C was admitted in May 2019. HCV samples from patients A and B both had HCV genotype 1b and demonstrated 100% genetic relatedness, indicating that patient B was the likely source. Patient C had HCV genotype 1a. Hemodialysis was provided to residents simultaneously in a converted resident room with 4 hemodialysis stations, and the LTCF operated 2 shifts, 3 times per week. We observed multiple infection control gaps, such as preparation of IV medications and inadequate disinfection in the shared dialysis treatment area. Recommendations addressing gaps were issued, and a follow-up site visit was conducted to validate implementation. With the exception of May 2019, patients A and B received hemodialysis on the same shift and days from December 2018 to September 2019. Conclusions: Phylogenetic and epidemiological results indicate HCV transmission likely occurred during hemodialysis services provided by the LTCF. As the provision of dialysis expands to nontraditional settings such as LTCFs, it is essential that proper infection control procedures and oversight are in place.
In January 2014, a chemical spill of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol and propylene glycol phenyl ethers contaminated the potable water supply of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents. To understand the spill’s impact on hospital operations, we surveyed representatives from 10 hospitals in the affected area during January 2014. We found that the spill-related loss of potable water affected many aspects of hospital patient care (eg, surgery, endoscopy, hemodialysis, and infection control of Clostridium difficile). Hospital emergency preparedness planning could be enhanced by specifying alternative sources of potable water sufficient for hemodialysis, C. difficile infection control, and hospital processing and cleaning needs (in addition to drinking water). (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:621–624)
To determine the source and identify control measures of an outbreak of Tsukamurella species bloodstream infections at an outpatient oncology facility.
Epidemiologic investigation of the outbreak with a case-control study.
A case was an infection in which Tsukamurella species was isolated from a blood or catheter tip culture during the period January 2011 through June 2012 from a patient of the oncology clinic. Laboratory records of area hospitals and patient charts were reviewed. A case-control study was conducted among clinic patients to identify risk factors for Tsukamurella species bloodstream infection. Clinic staff were interviewed, and infection control practices were assessed.
Fifteen cases of Tsukamurella (Tsukamurella pulmonis or Tsukamurella tyrosinosolvens) bloodstream infection were identified, all in patients with underlying malignancy and indwelling central lines. The median age of case patients was 68 years; 47% were male. The only significant risk factor for infection was receipt of saline flush from the clinic during the period September–October 2011 (P = .03), when the clinic had been preparing saline flush from a common-source bag of saline. Other infection control deficiencies that were identified at the clinic included suboptimal procedures for central line access and preparation of chemotherapy.
Although multiple infection control lapses were identified, the outbreak was likely caused by improper preparation of saline flush syringes by the clinic. The outbreak demonstrates that bloodstream infections among oncology patients can result from improper infection control practices and highlights the critical need for increased attention to and oversight of infection control in outpatient oncology settings.
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