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Journal Article

A Cluster of Hemodialysis‐Related Bacteremia Linked to Artificial Fingernails

Fred M. Gordin , MD, Maureen E. Schultz , RN, CIC, Ruth Huber , RN, CIC, Sabiha Zubairi , MS, Frida Stock , MS and Joseph Kariyil , MD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 28, No. 6 (June 2007), pp. 743-744
DOI: 10.1086/517977
Stable URL:
Page Count: 2

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Topics: Dialysis, Nurses, Fingernails, Heparin, Bacteremia, Catheters, Hands, Health care industry, Disease risk, Bacteria
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We examined a cluster of 5 hemodialysis patients who contracted gram‐negative bacteremia. A nurse who used an artificial fingernail to open a vial of heparin that was mixed to make a flush solution had a culture of an artificial fingernail specimen positive for Serratia marcescens. The typing of the S. marcescens strains isolated from the 5 patients and the nurse showed them to be identical. This finding provides strong support for policies prohibiting artificial nails for healthcare workers in all hemodialysis units.

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