Intravenous literature: News-Medical.Net report “Patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) can occur as the result of routine clinical practices incorrectly thought to be risk-free.
A review of 33 HBV outbreaks, published in the open access journal BMC Medicine, has shown that the most frequent HBV transmission routes are administration of drugs using multi-vial compounds and capillary blood sampling (e.g. for glucose monitoring) using non-disposable devices.
Simone Lanini led a team of researchers from the Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani, Rome, who performed a systematic review of HBV outbreaks published between 1992 and 2007 within the European Union and the United States. Lanini said, “HBV remains an important cause of liver disease in developed countries. Moreover, the virus has long been recognized as one of the most insidious viral agents within healthcare settings, and in fact a number of HBV outbreaks in healthcare are reported yearly in the USA and the European Union”.
The authors included 30 papers in their review, featuring information on 33 HBV outbreaks, involving 471 patients and 16 fatal cases. Sixteen out of the 33 outbreaks were from EU countries; the remaining 17 outbreaks were from the USA.