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November 1990

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Nosocomial Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Associated With a Spring-Loaded Fingerstick Device—California

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(11):1411-1412. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670350021001

In March 1990, staff in a hospital in California noted an increase in the number of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis B (HB). From June 1989 through March 1990, 20 patients with HB were identified; in comparison, from June 1988 through May 1989, four such patients had been identified. All cases were serologically confirmed as recently positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) or positive for IgM antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (IgM anti-HBc). Review of medical records of the 20 patients indicated that 1) all had been admitted to one medical ward during the 6 months before becoming HBsAg-positive; 2) 18 had diabetes mellitus; 3) during hospitalization, capillary blood samples were obtained from 19 patients to measure blood glucose levels using a spring-loaded device to prick the finger; and 4) one patient with diabetes who had been admitted March 15,1989, was a hepatitis B virus (HBV) carrier and

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