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April 9, 1997

Nosocomial Hepatitis B Virus Infection Associated With Reusable Fingerstick Blood Sampling Devices—Ohio and New York City, 1996

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1106-1107. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380018008

FINGERSTICK devices are widely used for capillary-blood sampling for glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes. In 1996, outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection occurred among patients with diabetes in an Ohio nursing home and in a New York City hospital. In response to these outbreaks, nursing-home and hospital personnel, state and local public health officials, and CDC conducted epidemiologic investigations. This report summarizes the investigations, which suggest that, in both outbreaks, HBV transmission was associated with use of spring-loaded fingerstick devices on multiple patients.

In the Ohio outbreak investigation, acute HBV infection was defined as a positive serologic test result for IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc) during June 1995-April 1996, and in the New York outbreak investigation, was defined as a positive serologic test result for IgM anti-HBc or seroconversion from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative to HBsAgpositive during January-October 1996. Chronic HBV