Unhygienic Practices in SGH Persisted Despite Lapses that Caused Hepatitis C Infections

Singapore General Hospital has said it will learn from incident whereby 25 patients were infected with Hepatitis C after staying at one of the hospital’s wards.

But in the wake of the infections, and even as investigators were trying to find the cause of the infections, unhygienic practices continued.

The independent review committee tasked with investigating the outbreak of infections conducted 18 spot checks and found that staff failed to observe appropriate hygiene in handling medical equipment.

It found that such poor practices led to the contamination of medical equipment.

In one instance, blood which contained virus was found on the wall of one of the hospital’s “clean” preparation rooms.

While the team was conducting its spot checks, more former patients were being funnelled into the hospital for Hepatitis C screenings together with staff members.

So it might be a pretty steep re-learning curve for SGH, considering that once bitten, twice still not shy.

25 patients in Ward 67 were infected with Hepatitis C.

8 patients died – of which 7 deaths were found to be linked to Hepatitis C.

The cause of the infection is still a “maybe” and is believed to be due to contamination of multi-dose vials.

The use of such multi-dose vials has been proven to be linked to many incidents of infection worldwide, compared to single-dose vials.

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