Hepatitis C medic had stint at Burnley General Hospital
PATIENTS from Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale are expected to be among thousands who are to be contacted after it emerged a retired gynaecology worker had Hepatitis C for more than 30 years.
NHS bosses have confirmed that the medic unknowingly had the condition as far back as 1975, including during a stint at Burnley General Hospital.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which can lead to inflammation of the liver and chronic related conditions, but it can be treated and cured in many cases with antiviral remedies.
The Casterton Avenue site is one of 16 hospitals where the unnamed obstetric and gynaecology worker is said to have worked until he retired in 2002.
He is known to have infected at least two patients while working at the Caerphilly District Miners Hospital.
Now it estimated that around 3,000 patients will be contacted by the NHS over the alarm and confidential helplines are being established.
It is possible that the health worker was only employed at certain sites for a matter of weeks – he also practised at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital, Carlisle’s City General (now the Cumberland Infirmary) as well as sites in Bournemouth, Cornwall, Peterborough and Grimsby.
A Public Health England spokesman said: “Those patients identified as exposed or possibly exposed to Hepatitis C are being sent individual letters and asked to call a special confidential helpline, inviting them to attend a hospital clinic or, if they have moved away from the area, their GP for a blood test.
“Effective treatments are available for Hepatitis C and further information and advice will also be provided to anyone who needs it.
“There is only a small chance that a patient might acquire Hepatitis C virus infection through surgical contact with an infected healthcare worker.
“The risk is very low as this can only occur if the healthcare worker is infectious and leads or assists in an operation or procedure on the patient.”
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