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Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2014 Jun;43(6):E117-23.

Risk of hepatitis C virus exposure in orthopedic surgery: is universal screening needed?

Author information

1
NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY. joseph.zuckerman@nyumc.org.

Abstract

The aging baby boomer generation will soon start using tremendous orthopedic surgical resources. This group has also been identified as a group at high risk for having undiagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We conducted a study to assess the prevalence of HCV among orthopedic surgery patients at our institution-using their demographic data to determine whether they represent a unique cohort at high risk for having undiagnosed HCV. We estimated that we operated on as many as 233 patients with undiagnosed HCV in 2011. A cost-effective, universal preoperative HCV screening program may reduce the risk for occupational exposure in orthopedic surgery and significantly benefit public health by bringing undiagnosed patients to treatment. A robust screening program requires several ethical considerations. By offering routine screening to patients, orthopedic surgeons have an opportunity to maintain intraoperative safety and improve the health of the public.

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PMID:
24945483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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