Manhattan, NY – An Upper West Side dialysis center was shut down by the state Health Department and hundreds of patients were urged to be tested after at least one patient contracted hepatitis C from treatment at the center.
The Health Department notified 657 patients of the Life Care Dialysis Center at 221 W. 61st St. that they should be tested for both hepatitis B and C strains, as well as HIV.
Nearly 200 patients were forced to be transferred to other centers to continue dialysis, a treatment that filter’s a patients blood through a machine when the kidneys can no longer function properly.
After a week-long inspection of the center, Health Department officials said they uncovered poor infection control practices, including “blood on the treatment chairs and dialysis machines, lack of proper hand hygiene, and inadequate disinfection of equipment.”
Officials say anyone treated at the center at any time after Jan. 23, 2004 should contact their physicians and get tested.
The department has established a toll-free information hotline for LCDC patients at 1-800-278-2965 that will receive calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the foreseeable future.