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Patients want ban on operations by doctors with hepatitis B

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7057.576a (Published 07 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:576

The Department of Health is facing demands to ban surgeons with hepatitis B operating on patients after the Public Health Laboratory Service confirmed that a woman died after catching the disease from a locum orthopaedic surgeon.

The surgeon, who holds a substantive post, was known to be a hepatitis B carrier but had twice been cleared to operate by the Department of Health's advisory committee on hepatitis B because the risk of transmission was considered slight. It is believed to be the first time that a surgeon with the disease has infected a patient after being cleared. The surgeon, who has not been named, had been cleared after testing positive for hepatitis B surface antigen and negative for the e antigen.

The …

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