Life Care Dialysis Center

Risk of Infections Spread Through the Blood

The New York State Department of Health conducted an extensive investigation of the Life Care Dialysis Center, located at 221 West 61st Street, New York City, after receiving reports about the possible transmission of hepatitis C at this facility. During the investigation, State Health Department staff identified numerous breaches in appropriate infection control practices, including blood on the treatment chairs and dialysis machines, lack of proper hand hygiene, and inadequate disinfection of equipment. In addition, the investigation found strong evidence that at least one patient contracted hepatitis C after receiving dialysis at the facility.

In response to the above findings, the State Health Department has concluded that patients who received any type of dialysis treatment, even a single treatment, through Life Care Dialysis Center after January 23, 2004, may be at risk for hepatitis C virus and other bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B virus and HIV. This risk may also extend to any patient receiving training at Life Care Dialysis Center to perform at-home peritoneal or hemodialysis.

On September 15, 2008, the State Health Department sent letters to 657 current and former patients of Life Care Dialysis Center informing them of the investigation and recommending they get tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.

Life Care Dialysis Center will reimburse patients for the cost of testing as a result of this notification, including office co-pays. Patients are instructed to call Life Care's administrative consultant at 866-926-1987 for questions pertaining to scheduling testing and reimbursement. In addition, the State Health Department has established a hotline for Life Care Dialysis Center patients that will receive calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the foreseeable future, at 1-800-278-2965.

In August 2008, during its inspection, the State Health Department advised Life Care Dialysis Center to immediately transfer its current patients to alternate locations for dialysis. The Life Care Dialysis Center has since agreed to cease operations permanently and to pay a civil penalty of $300,000 to New York State.

The following resources below are intended to provide additional information on hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.

Letters for Patients and Their Doctors

Disease Information