Tag: blood

At a quarantine hotel in Australia, blood testing devices may have exposed some guests.

More than 240 people who were quarantined for the coronavirus in hotels in the Australian state of Victoria are being contacted for testing for blood-borne viruses including H.I.V., after it was found that single-use blood testing devices were used on multiple people.

The revelation is part of the fallout of a failed program to quarantine Australians returning to the country in state-run hotels. The mismanagement of the scheme is widely regarded to have led to a second wave of the virus in Victoria. The outbreak put Melbourne, which is in the state of Victoria and is the second-largest city in Australia, into lockdown for over three months.

On Monday, the authorities said that blood glucose monitoring devices intended for use by one person were used on multiple guests held in the hotels between March and August. The tests were used by people with diabetes to monitor blood sugar levels. (An earlier version of this post misstated where the authorities made their comments.)

“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” Safer Care Victoria, the state’s health care quality assurance agency, said in a statement. “This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood borne viruses — Hepatitis B and C, and H.I.V.”

The agency said it did not believe the needles used for the finger-prick tests were used multiple times but said the bodies of the devices can retain microscopic amounts of blood, creating a low risk of transmission.

Victoria has reported at least 20,000 coronavirus cases and more than 800 deaths, with the majority of these occurring in its second wave. The state is currently easing out of its strict lockdown as daily infection numbers drop into the single digits.

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Blood glucose test, HIV infection risk for hotel quarantine guests

More than 200 people who underwent hotel quarantine in Victoria have been urged to go get tested for HIV and other viruses after a testing stuff up resulted in possible cross-contamination.

Safer Care Victoria announced yesterday that 243 people who underwent blood glucose level tests while in coronavirus hotel quarantine between March 29 and August 20 could be at risk of contracting a blood borne virus after the same test was used on multiple people.

“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” Safer Care Victoria said in a statement.

“This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood borne viruses – Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.”

A blood glucose level test involves pricking a finger to get a drop of blood to be used in the testing device.

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CEO Safer Care Victoria Adj Assoc Prof Ann Maree Keenan said the agency was conducting a review to figure out how the stuff-up occurred.

“The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority. The clinical risk is low. But if you are at all worried you had this test – and we have not contacted you yet – please call us,” Prof Keenan said.

“Right now, we won’t be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.

“I hope that we will be able to bring peace of mind through getting people in for testing, and through the findings of our review.”

If anyone is concerned they had this test but have not yet been contacted they can call the Safer Care Patient line on 1800 356 061.

RELATED: 1.7 million lost Aussies due to COVID

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten weighed in on Victoria’s latest hotel quarantine stuff-up.

Speaking on the Today show on Tuesday, Mr Shorten said the mistakes occurring in Victoria “are not good enough”.

Mr Shorten said this was a timely reminder that people still needed to “keep our guard up against the old nasties we know about”.

“It must be really stressful and worrying for the people who have gone through this. I hope that they can get the tests results back as quick as possible,” he said.

Health Minister Martin Foley addressed the testing stuff-up at a press conference this morning, clarifying that the needles used in the test were changed between each use by the device was not changed, despite it being meant for repeated used by one person, not multiple people.

“I need to stress that this is, according to all the clinical advice, a very, very low risk of cross contamination but, out of an abundance of caution, Safer Care Victoria and the Alfred Hospital are doing precisely the right thing in a very risk-averse way of seeking to

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Review of blood testing in hotel quarantine launched after contamination risk identified

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Finger-prick tests routinely used by people living with diabetes, including pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes, were used in the hotel quarantine system. Safer Care Victoria said it did not believe needles were used multiple times, but that the cartridges were touched by more than one person.

“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” the agency said in a statement.

Safer Care Victoria, created as part of government reforms to improve quality and safety in the public health system, said there was a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and exposure to blood-borne viruses including hepatitis B and C, and HIV. There is also the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.

Safer Care Victoria is in the process of contacting 243 people who had a blood glucose level test between March 29 and August 20, based on information in their health records.

Acting chief executive Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan said the clinical risk was low.

“The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority,” she said.

“The clinical risk is low. But if you are at all worried you had this test – and we have not contacted you yet – please call us.

“Right now, we won’t be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.

“I hope that we will be able to bring peace of mind through getting people in for testing, and through the findings of our review.”

Anyone who underwent blood glucose testing in hotel quarantine can call the dedicated
patient line on 1800 356 061 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week). Interpreters are available on request.

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