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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Patients were exposed to hepatitis B because nurses lacked access to electronic medical records

Dialysis patients at Boston Medical Center were exposed to hepatitis B in March because nurses lacked access to computerized medical records that would have told them one patient was infected, a state health department investigation concluded.

Because the nurses were unaware of that patient’s infection, they failed to properly clean dialysis machines before using them on 13 other patients over a two-week period. Equipment is supposed to be routinely disinfected before being reused on other patients. But extra measures, such as cleaning all internal tubing with bleach and heat, are required when a patient has hepatitis.

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