June 18, 2016 – heraldnet.com – SEATTLE — Virginia Mason Hospital and Medical Center says about 650 dialysis patients since 2011 may have been exposed to hepatitis B because of a lapse in screening procedures.
But the hospital and King County public health officials said Friday that the risk of transmission is low.
Seattle and King County Public Health’s Dr. Jeff Duchin said an investigation by his agency found the hospital followed other steps, such as disinfecting equipment, to prevent infection.
He says they also did not find evidence of increased of risk for acquiring blood borne pathogen infections in the hospital’s dialysis unit. The non-profit Northwest Kidney Centers is contracted to provide dialysis at the Seattle hospital.
Virginia Mason notified health officials in late May that staff had not been consistently screening and isolating patients, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The hospital urged patients to get tested for hepatitis B.