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Patients got HIV from reused tube

By Shan Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 07:55

Staff at a public hospital broke guideline meant to ensure safety

The misconduct of a health worker at a hospital in east Zhejiang province has led to the HIV infections of five people, the provincial health authority said on Thursday.

The staff worker has been detained by police, it said. Administrative punishments were given to several other members of staff at the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, a major local public hospital.

The misconduct, involving an unspecified procedure, put all patients undergoing the procedure at risk of contracting HIV, it said.

The provincial health and family planning administration received a report about the incident from the hospital on Jan 26 and immediately conducted HIV screenings of patients.

It's a severe medical accident and five people were confirmed to have HIV infections, the health authority said, without specifying the medical procedure or the patients' identities.

The source of the infection was said to be a patient who had contracted HIV outside of the hospital while undergoing the same procedure, investigations found.

The virus was transmitted via sharing a suction tube used in the procedure, it said.

That seriously violates a guideline for the procedure stipulating that each tube must be used for just one patient and then discarded.

The commission has ordered an overhaul of in-hospital infection control in all hospitals in the province and pledged to strengthen management and supervision over the medical practice.

Meanwhile, efforts to comfort and compensate those affected are underway, the announcement said.

Also on Thursday, an outbreak of hepatitis B was reported at a hospital in Qingdao, Shandong province, according to Beijing News.

Affected patients received dialysis at Chengyang People's Hospital, but no further details were released.

HIV and hepatitis B are both bloodborne diseases, experts said. Intrusive medical procedures such as dialysis and gastroscopy must be performed strictly according to clinical guidelines to prevent accidental infections.

But public health experts also urged the public not to panic or doubt medical safety at hospitals.

Patients are routinely and mandatorily screened for infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis before any intrusive procedures such as surgery.

Strict adherence to the clinical guidelines and sterilization works thoroughly to avert infections, experts said.

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