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Long Island Hospital May Have Given Patients HIV

Long Island Hospital May Have Exposed Patients To HIV
A Long Island hospital has sent out more than 4,200 letters warning patients to get tested for HIV and hepatitis due to possible blood contamination.

"The hospital told WABC they're working with the health department and they say the risk of infection is low, but they say patients may have received insulin from an insulin pen reservoir that may have been used with more than one patient."

The problem is some insulin pen reservoirs, or the part of the pen that holds the hormone, may have been used on more than one person at South Nassau Communities Hospital. WNBC spoke with a woman whose mother receives insulin there.

"I'm lost for words here ... this is unacceptable."
"The Centers for Disease Control say it can only be used on one person, if it's used on more than one patient, they could be exposed to the blood of another person."

Newsday points out a hospital spokesperson said no one was actually seen reusing an insulin pen reservoir, but one nurse was heard saying aloud it was alright to do so.

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

And since the incident, the hospital has made some changes.

It has banned the use of insulin pens and has instead switched over to using only single-patient use vials. Newsday also notes the state Department of Health said three facilities reported possible insulin pen re-use last year.

The hospital is now offering free blood testing services. It will take the patients a few weeks to receive their results.

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Shelley March 12 2014 at 11:14 AM

read the sign above - it says 'SMOKE FREE' but not 'HIV' free. visit this hospital at your own peril.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
QueenOfQueens March 12 2014 at 11:03 AM

This is so unbelievable. How many people have moved from LI and are around the world and might not know this. People need to share this info quickly

Flag Reply +1 rate up
momob2014 March 12 2014 at 11:02 AM

This hospital has made a grave error...and they are trying to minimize the damage...
4200 potential patients who might be affected is a huge thing

Flag Reply +4 rate up
JOHN March 12 2014 at 10:54 AM

She should be fired. all doctors and nurses should use protection with new gloves, needles, clean stethscopes, etc.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
cmccabe768 March 12 2014 at 1:38 PM

No excuse for this.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
joepro60 March 12 2014 at 2:35 PM

great hospital lol politically connected,ignores state and federal requests not use this procedure,lowest paying and to add insult to injury sends out letters for people to donate cash gifts to doctors. Time bomb waitig to go opps went off.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
kimberley March 12 2014 at 9:18 AM

How about sacking the nurse who said it was okay to do so? Sheesch!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
2 replies
luvlar95 kimberley March 12 2014 at 10:25 AM

Absolutely. The RN is responsible. I'm an RN and each pen is labeled with the patients name. Using one pen on multiple patients is unacceptable. Someone was lazy.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
michaelcrtt luvlar95 March 12 2014 at 12:37 PM

I'm an RT and worked at a private hospital that had us use the same MDI with multi patients, so they can save money. I quit this job the second I found a new job.

Flag 0 rate up
rosugill kimberley March 12 2014 at 11:00 AM

She no doubt said that because the needles are thrown away each time you use them. However, her saying that she thought it was OK to do that doesn't mean that she did that.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hogmercedes March 12 2014 at 12:08 PM

Well, at least they didn't allow them to smoke. Smoking may have been injurious to their health,LOL

Flag Reply +8 rate up
rwitchwoman63 March 12 2014 at 12:04 PM

I hope that if anyone does contract either disease I hope they sue the crap out of this hospital!!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jkbu March 12 2014 at 12:56 PM

Absolutely ridiculous that in this day we have nurses that are highly trained still making tragic mistakes like that. It's not just a job and when people aren't fully driven to provide the best care to patients they should move on to another profession. Many jobs don't require the high risk that nurses face everyday.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
MIchigan Man jkbu March 12 2014 at 4:45 PM

Probably a a result of a careless nurse who told other nurses that this is an acepted practice, and follow the leader started, although I'm sure the alleged nurse knew better. As a healthcare professional of over 50 years, I can assure you that this isn't an isolated case of such practices. In fact I have fired people for doing similar things that is toatally medically unacceptable. The hospital did the right thing by notifying the patients, regardless of whether they were exposed or not.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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