CHENNAI, INDIA – More than 20 patients who received dialysis treatment at Stanley Hospital, located on the campus of Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India, have protested that they were infected with the hepatitis C virus due to contamination during their treatment. Patients claim that the dialysis equipment was contaminated by a patient with hepatitis C and improper sanitation procedures resulted in the contamination.
Many of the patients were awaiting a renal transplant and were shocked when they were informed they were not eligible because they had the virus. Despite the life-changing circumstances for these patients, the hospital said it was common for dialysis patients to get infected with hepatitis C and they should not be held responsible.
One of the patients name Karthikeyan, age 42, visited Stanley Hospital in May 2014 with kidney failure and was deemed eligible for the kidney transplant. In August 2014 he returned to begin dialysis treatment and was told he was no longer eligible because of the virus. “His blood tests were normal till August 13 but after the dialysis a day later, he tested positive for hepatitis. We are devastated,” said his wife Tilakavathy who was planning to donate her kidney.
There are many other patients experiencing the same shocking news. Senior nephrologist Dr Georgy Abraham said it is possible for dialysis patients to contract infections from a dialysis equipment when a dialysis technician or other healthcare worker does not sterilize it properly after each treatment session. Obtaining a viral count test would provide more accurate results he said.