Worcester Business Journal Online (WBJournal) (02.03.2014)
The Worcester Business Journal reported that after a patient contracted hepatitis C virus (HCV) from a machine in the UMass Memorial Medical Center’s (UMMMC) hemodialysis unit, the hospital has changed the way it manages and staffs the unit. CDC and the state health department require all HCV cases be reported because it is an infectious disease, which prompted the investigation. HCV is a chronic blood-borne liver disease that can spread through improperly sterilized medical equipment.
The hospital urged all patients treated at UMMMC’s hemodialysis unit during the time when the original infection might have occurred to be tested for the virus; thus far, no other patients have tested positive for infection. "The majority of the potentially affected patients have already undergone testing through their normal course of care and we have seen no additional hepatitis infections that would have resulted from the transmission event. This leads us to believe this event was a single, isolated incident," stated Robert Brogna, spokesperson for UMass Memorial Health Care.
Brogna also stated that UMMMC is committed to providing high-quality care. This incident led to quality improvement and safety changes to the unit, including improved staffing, streamlined procedures, and enhanced training.