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Wife has Hep C, but husband doesn’t mark it

We have a husband and wife that both come in regularly. The wife marked hep C. We asked the husband about updating his medical history and he did not mark hep c. Do we assume he has it? How do you handle this situation? You can’t say, “do you have Hep C because we know your wife has it.”



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16 Answers

You have all probably seen a patient with hep C and HIV. That is why we use universal precautions! Many people are carriers and do not even know it so you have to assume everyone is!

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With universal precautions everyone should be treated the same anyway. But just his wife has it doesn’t mean the husband does too. My mom got hep c from a blood transfusion in 1982 after she lost alot of blood giving birth to my sister. She had my brother and me after that and we and my dad never got it despite her not being on any meds for it because she couldn’t afford it.

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It is possible for the wife to have it and the husband not…Hep C is blood transmitted…the fact she KNOWS she it may help them eliminate the chance of him getting it. They may be cautious…. use protection, not share razors , and other things similar. I suppose you could put a spouse warning for Hep C in his chart but it really wouldn’t change how you’re doing things, and the universal precautions you’re using anyway…it might be good to note spouse is hep c+ so that if he’s complaining of things like body ache and other symptoms , you could gently suggest a follow up test with a Dr…but it wouldn’t effect dental treatment. ..

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Not sure why it matters in the delivery of treatment for the patient or care of instruments afterward. Universal precautions etc. if you feel it’s important to increase your PPE due to a PT having hep C or any other communicable disease then you are doing something wrong. Take his word for it on the health history and move on. A lot of people leave things off their HH and we never know about it.

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Universal precautions!!
One spouse having Hep C is not a definite predictor of the other having it, unless they share needles, razors and the likes.
Universal precautions!

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Universal precautions should be used. You should not assume he has hep c. You can keep a mental note but if you’re using universal precautions, treatment should not be altered.

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Colgate Oral Health Network (education department) just had a webinar on Hep C. You can still access it but can’t get credit for it anymore. Of course, universal precautions is always the answer but concerning how it affects dentistry: it affects how drugs are metabolized, how hormones are metabolized, and can affect clotting factors, therefore it affects “the dental plan”. (According to the webinar) Also, according to this doctor (George G. GATSEOS II, DDS, MSBA) use of the cavitron is not contraindicated since Hep C is not transmitted via aerosols, but can be transmitted through contact with the eyes. Hep C infection has been found to live up to 6 weeks in minute amounts of dried blood and up to 5 MONTHS in water! 3.2 – 3.9 million in U.S. have it but only 50% are aware they have it. Hopes this helps. FYI: http://www.colgateoralhealthnetwork.com/dental-ce-courses.

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Universal precaution…just use it

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He may not realize he has it. We as health care providers don’t always remember that non medical people don’t always have the same understanding. I have had patients tell me they do not have high blood pressure but they are taking meds for HBP. Since it I controlled they don’t feel they have to mark that as a medical problem.

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Interesting, I have two pts where one partner has HIV and the other never checked it. I think we should always assume that every pt has everything and practice with proper personal protective equipment every time. I don’t think hippa will allow you to discuss medical status with even a married partner without some kind of consent. I’m gonna look into that.

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Universal precautions. Hippa prevents you from asking husband about wife’s medical history.

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My dad has hep c. We think he got it when he was a little boy living in Mexico and they only boiled needles and reused them. We found out about 8 years ago. My mom got tested and she does not have hep c. So it is very possible that the husband does not have it. Even if he does, universal precautions. I was taught to assume everyone has the worst. Because you just never know.

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It doesn’t matter whether he marks it; we use universal precautions and treat all patients the same. Lots of people have diseases that they don’t list on their medical history which is why we “assume” they do and have the same tx, disinfection, and sterilization routine for all patients.

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It makes no difference, treat EVERY person as though they have HIV…UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS!!!

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As everyone has answered Universal Precautions ! But the concern for me would be to use the cavitron or not! What is the question is using the cavitron puts you at risk! and handscaling for HIV lots of things to think about

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Universal precautions!!! Needless to say there are millions of couples where only one partner may have a systemic disease, while the other doesn’t. On top of this one would be naive to think everyone discloses all of their hhx which why you assume every patient has everything.

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