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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;28(6):743-4. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

A cluster of hemodialysis-related bacteremia linked to artificial fingernails.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC 20422, USA.


We examined a cluster of 5 hemodialysis patients who contracted gram-negative bacteremia. A nurse who used an artificial fingernail to open a vial of heparin that was mixed to make a flush solution had a culture of an artificial fingernail specimen positive for Serratia marcescens. The typing of the S. marcescens strains isolated from the 5 patients and the nurse showed them to be identical. This finding provides strong support for policies prohibiting artificial nails for healthcare workers in all hemodialysis units.

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