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HIV infection through medical equipment

March 12, 2009

HIV infection through medical devices, blood products and procedures is thankfully very rare in the Western World.


A number of countries including most of Europe and the UK did have problems with an HIV and then Hepatitis C contaminated blood and blood product supply chain some 20 years ago but elaborate screening of donors and also screening of blood products has now eliminated this in the UK.


Yesterday saw the release of information from the Department of Veteran Affairs in the USA confirming the contamination of three patients in different facilities around the USA with HIV after inadequate sterilisation of re-useable medical equipment.


There have been a number of episodes worldwide where devices which have been resterilised have resulted in infection with Hepatitis B, C or HIV. These are really fantastically rare episodes, particularly if you count the number of procedures performed each year.




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