CDC Issues Advisory Regarding Hep C Prevention for Hemodialysis Patients

By on 4:10 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a Health Advisory urging providers and facilities to assess their infection control practices as a means to help stop hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients undergoing hemodialsysis.

The CDC noted that is has received an increased number of reports of newly acquired HCV infection among these patients. Between 2014 and 2015, CDC reported it was contacted about 36 cases of acute HCV infection in 19 different hemodialysis clinics in eight states.

Lapses in infection control (e.g., injection safety, environmental disinfection and hand hygiene) were commonly identified at these facilities. Although CDC could not determine the exact means of transmission, these lapses could all potentially contribute to HCV transmission. Any case of new HCV infection in a patient undergoing hemodialysis is likely to be a healthcare-associated infection.

CDC outlined a number of recommendations for dialysis providers, health departments and patients to help improve dialysis safety. In summary, here are the commendations CDC is making for dialysis providers and facilities:
  • Assess current infection control practices and environmental cleaning and disinfection practices within the facility to ensure adherence to infection control standards;
  • Address any gaps identified by the assessments;
  • Screen patients for HCV, following CDC guidelines, to detect infections, determine treatment potential and halt secondary transmission; and
  • Promptly report all acute HCV infections to the state or local health department.

The team of experts at Infection Control Consulting Services provide outpatient care infection prevention services as well as services to many other types of facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and nursing homes. ICCS services include infection prevention risk assessment, infection control educational programs, development of corrective plans of action, Medicare survey preparation, and many more. Contact ICCS today!

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.