A New Jersey outpatient surgery center issued letters to thousands of patients urging them to undergo blood tests for serious infections like hepatitis and HIV after state health inspectors found unsanitary conditions at the facility.
A total of 3,778 people who underwent procedures at the hospital between January and Sept. 7, 2018, received letters from HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook informing them that “during this time period, lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications may have exposed patients to blood borne pathogens.”
The facility was shuttered from Sept. 7 through Sept. 28 to improve its infection control and medication dispensing procedures. MedPlus also hired new staff and conducted training on sterile processing. It also cleaned and repaired all its medical instruments prior to reopening.
The letter assured patients that their risk for infection was low, but that they should be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV as a precaution. To date, no infections or illnesses associated with the unsanitary conditions at the hospital have been reported.
“We recognize that this may be upsetting to our patients, and we are taking this matter very seriously and taking steps to assist them during this process,” said HealthPlus Surgery Center Administrator Betty McCabe.
The hospital set up two locations for testing – one in New Jersey and the other in New York – and assured patients that they would not be charged for the blood tests.
Source: CBS News