Risk of infection in multiple users of fingersticks

September 1, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA have noted an increase in reports of bloodborne infection transmission, primarily hepatitis B virus, resulting from shared use of fingerstick and point-of-care blood testing devices.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA have noted an increase in reports of bloodborne infection transmission, primarily hepatitis B virus, resulting from the shared use of fingerstick and point-of-care (POC) blood testing devices. Unclear labeling and ineffective cleaning and disinfection instructions may have contributed to these outbreaks.

The infections are occurring in a variety of healthcare settings, but there is a significant increase in outbreaks in long-term care or assisted-living settings.

Fingerstick and POC blood testing devices can be safely used multiple times by a single patient in the home setting, provided that the user follows the label cleaning instructions.