Kidney Patients Get Hepatitis in Hospital

Kidney patients in Macedonia become infected with Hepatitis C, when they go to clinics and hospitals for dialysis. Patients as well as nephrologists (kidney specialists) confirm this. The reason is that the safety standards are not put into practice, and there is no control of the patients’ safety.

Economic analysts say that dialysis is carried out in substandard conditions due to the fact that the centers do not have enough money for dialysis.

The data from the dialysis centers about patients infected with Hepatitis C are striking. According to the kidney patients’ association “Nefron”, there are centers where 30 per cent of the patients are infected, but there are also centers where more than one half of the patients are infected with Hepatitis C.

According to experts, the infection is transmitted because the machines are not always completely sterilized between patients. They also save on gloves, so the nurses can transmit the infection. “The same nurse works with both patients infected with Hepatitis C and those who are not”, complains Dushko Gjorgjievski, vice president of “Nefron”. He claims that patients who come to the dialysis centers, due to the physical non-separation, are directly exposed to Hepatitis B and C infection.

Experts say that the main problem is the lack of sufficient dialyses places. The nephrologist Ninoslav Ivanovski, explains: “So, if there are not enough places for dialysis, it happens that healthy patients are placed on machines on which only positive patients are dialyzed”. According to his estimates, in some centers there is even 90 per cent infection with Hepatitis C. Ivanovski believes that the problem is also in the fact that patients are not regularly controlled whether they are infected or not as the money for testing is a burden on centers’ budgets.

Jasmina Jovanovska investigated the situation. Her article was published in the daily newspaper “Utrinski vesnik” on June 5, 2011.

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