Nine kidney patients infected with hepatitis B at China hospital

Hospital bosses suspended in Qingdao after patients catch virus during kidney dialysis

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 1:48pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 February, 2017, 10:14pm

Senior managers at a hospital in eastern China have been suspended after nine people were infected with hepatitis B while undergoing kidney dialysis, the district government said.

Officials at the hospital in Qingdao in Shandong province delayed reporting the cases to the higher authorities because inspectors were carrying out a ratings assessment of the medical centre, according to The Beijing News.

The patients were infected with the virus at the Qingdao Chengyang People’s Hospital.

Operating procedures for carrying out the kidney treatment were breached, according to the district government statement.

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The director and deputy director at the hospital have been suspended, along with the director of the haemodialysis department and a nurse.

Haemodialysis involves filtering blood outside the body through a machine to get rid of waste products and excess water if a patient’s kidneys have failed.

The infections at the hospital occurred last year, but were not reported until January.

Managers suppressed the information because a ratings inspection was underway, the newspaper quoted an anonymous official at the National Health and Family Planning Commission as saying.

A notice from the Shandong provincial health administration ordered urgent checks on all medical institutions that provide haemodialysis treatment.

The incidents in Qingdao led to serious infections caused by poor management, the notice said.

“The consequence was severe and the impact terrible. It exposed the bad implementation by the hospital and its medical staff of relevant requirements to strengthen the management of haemodialysis treatment,” the statement said.

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The newspaper report suggested there were problems with poor kidney dialysis treatment at other hospitals in China, with some medical centres providing low cost services to attract patients, but offering low standards of care.

This significantly increased the risk of blood infections, the paper said.

Twenty-six people were infected with hepatitis C during haemodialysis treatment in Zhanan County Hospital in Shaanxi province last year.