It's just breaking in the Indo that hundreds of women across ten hospitals are to face having a Hep C test after a doctor was found to have the virus. The HSE is now in the process of notifying all the women although the HSE has refused to identify the 10 hospitals where he actually worked. It is believed that the doctor who has since returned to the UK worked as a locum obstetrician from 2008.
The alarm was raised only after the doctor was recently discovered to have the infection. Crucially, since 2008 new full-time employees undergo Hep C screening with there also being a requirement for new locum staff to be screened although the onus is on the agency to ensure that the doctor is given the all clear.
It must also be stressed at this juncture that the risk of contamination with the virus is quite low at 3.7%. Indeed, a recent review of blood borne virus transmission using a sample of 2000 patients found that no patient was infected by a healthcare worker between the period of 1997-2008.
Hundreds of women to face Hep C tests as doctor infected - National News - Independent.ieA spokeswoman for the HSE has confirmed that all hospitals have been alerted by its infectious disease section .
The spokeswoman said: “The HSE has recently become aware that a healthcare worker, who has previously worked in hospitals in the Republic of Ireland, was recently diagnosed as having Hepatitis C virus infection.
“Hospital management in the HSE is working closely with Public Health Departments and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in relation to this case.
“An expert group is currently establishing the background to this case to identify what actions, if any, may need to be taken.