CDC releases details on hepatitis outbreak in Washington hospital
The Center for Disease Control released its full report Thursday, regarding a hepatitis C outbreak at a Washington state hospital last year.
In total, the outbreak affected “at least 12” patients who had received injections from the nurse in question. The report cites a nurse it identifies only as “nurse A” as “the only common epidemiological link” between the patients.
It notes that nurse A had admitted to stealing drugs from patients for personal use, and that a patient the nurse had injected to treat neck pain returned to the hospital’s emergency room testing positive for hepatitis C.
In total, over 2,700 patients had received injections while nurse A was on duty. Those patients were sent a notice from the hospital of potential exposure to the hepatitis C virus, and offered free testing.
The nurse was thought to have treated 208 of those patients directly, 20 of whom tested positive for hepatitis C; 13 with a strain similar to that of nurse A’s. Twelve of those 13 were newly diagnosed with the virus.
In the meantime, the Washington State Nursing Commission conducted its own investigation, and suspended her practicing license.
While the hospital wasn’t named by the CDC, Puyallup’s Good Samaritan Hospital issued an apology back in June 2018 for a hepatitis C outbreak that occurred under nearly identical circumstances.
“We apologize to these patients who were infected with Hepatitis C while in our facility. That should not have happened. The safety our patients is of paramount importance to our mission,” the hospital’s statement reads.