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Medical News and Perspectives
September 21, 2011

CDC Targets Health-Related Infections Acquired in Outpatient Settings

JAMA. 2011;306(11):1189-1190. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1250

In 2008, more than 40 000 individuals treated at an outpatient endoscopy clinic in Nevada were advised to undergo testing for hepatitis B and C infection after state and federal public health officials discovered improper use of syringes and the use of single-dose vials on multiple patients. Ultimately, 6 confirmed cases were identified among patients of the clinic.

Unfortunately, scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that such lapses in basic infection control practices are far too common in outpatient settings. In fact, between 1998 and 2008, 33 outbreaks in which 448 individuals acquired hepatitis B or C infection were linked to outpatient care (Thompson ND et al. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150[1]:33-39).

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