Blood borne virus screening in a prison and drug misuse centre using Dried blood spot testing with the implementation of an opt-out strategy
PHE ePoster Library. Saluja T. Sep 10, 2018; 221382; 243
Tranprit Saluja
Tranprit Saluja
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction Early detection of Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) particularly Hepatitis C is important for improved patient outcome and to prevent disease transmission in closed communities Due to the rapid turnover of prisoners, a simple and convenient approach is required to screen quickly but at the same time minimise the risks of sharps injuries. Conventional screening can prove problematic in difficult to bleed patients or when there is inadequate access to phlebotomy services. In response to an increase in the prevalence of BBVs, the introduction of opt-out testing has been implemented in secure services. This study was conducted between September 2015 - March 2017, and carried out by SWBH Microbiology in collaboration with a local prison and a drug misuse centre. Results Between September 2015 - March 2017, a total of 1222 patient samples were received from Local prison . The number of samples testing reactive for HIV Ag/Ab, HBsAg and anti-HCV were 2 (0.16%), 20 (1.64%) and 155 (12.68%) respectively. Diagnosing a total of 195 Hepatitis C, 60 Hepatitis B and 2 HIV new patients respectively, that may have gone un-diagnosed in the first 18 months of service implementation emphasises the importance of screening 'high prevalence' populations.Conclusion Screening for infectious diseases using dried blood spots has revolutionized testing among hard to reach groups including alcoholics, intravenous drug users, the homeless and those with mental health issues. Due to its ease of use, uptake has been better than conventional venous sampling methods where there is an increased risk of sharps injuries.
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