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Patient Contracts Hepatitis C at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A patient contracted Hepatitis C through cross-contamination at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department earlier this year. NHS Lothian have apologised for “failings” that allowed the contamination to occur, and have followed up with 34 patients who were treated in the A&E department at the same time.

Investigations found that the patient most likely became infected through cross-contamination in the hospital’s accident and emergency department. NHS Lothian said that their A&E department has extremely tight infection control measures, but have fully reviewed and improved them as a result of the incident. Hand hygiene and the risks of blood-borne viruses are amongst the many areas being reinforced with staff across NHS Lothian.

NHS 24 helpline opened

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects, and can severely damage, the liver. It can be treated with antiviral medicines that stop its multiplication inside the body, preventing destruction of the liver. Approx. 1% of Scotland’s population is infected with the virus.

An NHS 24 helpline has been opened to answer any questions from the public with concerns about the virus.

Dr David Farquharson, NHS Lothian medical director, said: “I would like to re-assure everyone who has visited our Emergency Department that the risk of being infected is very low. If anyone is at all concerned, I would encourage them to contact the dedicated helpline for more information and advice.

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