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Thousands of patients exposed to possible HIV and Hepatitis


by Joseph Earnest  March 13, 2014


Newscast Media NEW YORK—A hospital in New York is sending out over 4,000 letter to patients recommending they be tested for Hepatis and HIV due to the possible infection from an insulin pen, according to Newsday.


An insulin pen for those with diabetes is a pre-filled syringe meant to be used to dispense insulin in a single patient. Because of potential backflow of a patient's blood into the pen cartridge after injection, using a pen on multiple patients may expose them to blood-borne infections.


South Nassau Communities Hospital spokesman Damian Becker said no one was observed reusing the insulin pen reservoir on more than one patient, but a nurse was heard saying it was all right to do so.

"Once that was said, we then followed through with a report to the state Department of Health," Becker said.

The hospital said risk of infection is "extremely low."

"Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, the hospital is recommending that patients receiving the notification be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. While the testing is voluntary, it is recommended," the hospital said.

South Nassau Communities Hospital is offering free and confidential blood testing and has set up a dedicated telephone line for those patients notified. To arrange a test, call 516-208-0029.   Add Comments>>     










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