Independent Review Committee (IRC) finds that sloppy practices contributed to Hepatitis C outbreak
The report by the Independent Review Committee (IRC) has found that sloppy practices, including poor infection control, led to the Hepatitis C outbreak in Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) renal wards 64A and 67.
A total of 25 patients were infected between the period of April and June 2015.
The independent review committee is headed by Professor Leo Yee Sin, the director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, and the review committee was convened on 28 September by the Minister of Health, Gan Kim Yong.
The review committee concluded in its report that a combination of overlapping factors was the most likely explanation for the outbreak. The virus spread due to gaps in infection control practices, lapses in disinfection protocol, as well as a deficient working environment in which staff had been shifted from one ward to another.
The review committee also found fault with SGH’s detection procedures, as it did not recognise the outbreak in a timely manner.
The committee also stated that there is no division within MOH which has clear responsibility to deal with outbreaks of unusual Health Associated Infections (HAIs), and this hindered MOH’s ability to respond in a timely way to the unexpected event.
Of the 25 affected transplant and renal patients, eight have died.