China's dialysis procedures tightened in wake of hepatitis infections

17:07, March 11, 2010      

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China is going to tighten supervision over medical practices of hemodialysis, in response to recent cases of hepatitis C infections, the Health Ministry announced Thursday.

The ministry would require hospitals to report information on each hemodialysis case three days after the treatment is performed from May 1.

The ministry would designate quality control centers to analyze the data and to publish their results on a regular basis.

In December 2008 and January last year, 16 patients receiving hemodialysis in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, were infected with hepatitis C.

In the ensuing investigation, two of the hospitals involved were found repeatedly using disposable dialysis equipment and using the same equipment on hepatitis C positive patients as uninfected patients, as well as improperly sterilizing equipment.

Such practices violated the ministry's guidelines on repeated use of hemodialysis equipment issued in 2005, according to which dialysis machines used by hepatitis C patients must be quarantined.

In December last year, 30 hemodialysis patients in Huoshan county, Anhui Province, east China, were infected with hepatitis C.

Other case were found in Zhejiang and Gansu provinces.

The notice said reporting of information on cases of peritoneal dialysis and renal transplants will begin at a later date.

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