Trainee surgeon has hepatitis virus

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The Independent Online
Another doctor has been found to have the infectious liver disease hepatitis B and more than 1,000 patients in the north of England have been contacted as a result. The doctor, a trainee orthopaedic surgeon who has not been named, worked for National Health Service hospitals in Scarborough and Hull.

Yesterday the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare Trust contacted 200 patients, and the East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is contacting 900 in whose cases the doctor was involved at Castlehill Hospital, where he worked for six months last year. The hospitals said that the doctor had not been aware of his hepatitis status, which was revealed in routine tests.

Chris Appleby, chief executive of the East Yorkshire Trust, said recall was "very much a precautionary measure. Research evidence suggests the chances of any patient having been infected are very low indeed."

The doctor is the latest in a growing list of doctors found to have hepatitis B. More than 160 patients had tests after being operated on in Halifax and Newcastle-upon-Tyne by a junior doctor and a trainee surgeon respectively carrying the virus last November. In another alert, more than 500 patients in Tyne and Wear were asked to go for tests after a surgeon was found to be infected with the virus.

Last September, Umesh Gaud, 41, a surgeon who knew he was a carrier, was jailed after it was thought he had infected 19 patients who had surgery in London hospitals and put hundreds more at risk.