HDCN Article Review/Hyperlink

Ross RS, Viazov S, Gross T, Hofmann F, Seipp HM, Roggendorf M

Transmission of the hepatitis C virus from a patient to an anesthesiology assistant to five patients

N Engl J Med (Dec) 343:1851-1854, 2000

The full title link is available from the NEJM, although publisher hyperlinks change over time: Click here.

An abstract is not available. Briefly, four patients in whom HCV infection developed 6-18 weeks after general or orthopedic surgery in a single hospital were investigated. Additional patients who had undergone surgery during a six-month period were also studied, as were hospital personnel.

Six total patients were identified with HCV viremia, and only one had received blood products. All six patients and one anesthesiology assistant proved to be infected with genetically very similar HCV isolates, suggesting, in fact, it was the same virus that had been transmitted among them. Epidemiologic and molecular data suggested that one of the patients had transmitted HCV to the assistant, who in turn transmitted the virus to at least five other patients.

On further questioning, the patient did admit to an open cut on the third finger of his right hand, and to not wearing an occlusive bandage to protect the area during procedures. However, the precise mechanism of how the infection was spread remained undetermined.