- BOSTON - Shared electric
razors may spread hepatitis, a Boston Medical Centre doctor warned in Thursday's
New England Journal of Medicine.
- Dr. Colleen R. Kelly said electric razors may explain
why so many patients in veterans hospitals - up to 24 percent - show signs
of being exposed to hepatitis, the potentially-deadly liver disease.
- The exposure rate in the general population is less than
- Kelly realised while working at the Veterans Affairs
Hospital in Boston that the hospital had an electric razor for every ward.
Each razor was passed from patient to patient without being disinfected.
- "Although I am not aware of whether hepatitis B
or C virus has been isolated from electric razors," she said, the
ability to spread the disease through shared razors "is a potential
hazard" because "shaving is well known to cause small abrasions
and small cuts" that can release contaminated blood.
- Kelly said "efforts should be made to replace community
razors with the disposable, single-use variety in Veterans Affairs hospitals
and in any other institution where they are in use."
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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