Dialysis Providers Should Improve Infection Control to Stop Spread of HCV, CDC Says

The CDC has seen a tremendous growth in acute HCV infection reports among patients undergoing hemodialysis.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has seen a tremendous growth in acute HCV infection reports among patients undergoing hemodialysis.

With 36 cases of acute HCV infections in 19 different hemodialysis clinics in eight states, in the last year alone, lapses in infection control— like injection safety, environmental disinfection, and hand hygiene – were commonly identified at these facilities.

Understanding that these lapses in dialysis care could undoubtedly expose patients to HCV, the CDC suggests dialysis providers should:

· 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

· Promptly report all acute HCV infections to the state or local health department

Along with suggestions to dialysis providers and health departments, the CDC urges patients to question their healthcare providers about their dialysis care — asking if they follow CDC recommendations and whether there’s a chance they need to be tested for the HCV.