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An extensive investigation into hepatitis C infections in three transplant patients led investigators to uncover the route of transmission. Mayo Clinic shares the lessons learned.
Findings of an extensive investigation at Mayo Clinic, published in the April 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, serve as a warning to other health care institutions that drug diversion by a health care worker can spread hepatitis C, a potentially fatal viral infection, to patients.
The report details the effort that Mayo Clinic in Florida undertook to find the source of a genetically related hepatitis C virus that appeared in three patients over a two-to three-year period of time. Investigators eventually traced the source to a radiology technician who was using a portion of narcotics contained within syringes intended for patients and then replacing the missing fluid with saline. The process contaminated the syringes with hepatitis C.
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