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Nearly 2,000 patients at Olean General Hospital may have been contaminated by reused insulin pens

Olean General Hospital in Western New York is contacting nearly 2,000 patients who may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or C due to the improper reuse of insulin pens.

Hiv exposure insulin needleEnlarge
A medical assistant administers an insulin shot to a diabetes patient. (Sajjad Hussain /AFP/Getty Images)

Olean General Hospital is notifying nearly 2,000 diabetic patients that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C after the improper reuse of insulin pens, NPR News reported Thursday.

It is the second such incident at a Western New York hospital in as many weeks.

Patients who received insulin at the hospital between November 2009 and last Wednesday are being advised to get blood tests, the Associated Press reported.

According to WKBW News, an internal review at the hospital raised the possibility that some insulin pens were shared.

"We're acting on information from a few nurses who say that this may have occurred," Timothy Finan, president and chief executive of Olean General, told NPR News.

"The pens were never intended for multiple use. All nurses who received in-services on insulin pens know that."

Hospital officials said there was no evidence yet of the "transmission of any blood borne infections during the stay of any patient who received insulin from the pens.”

Last week, Buffalo Veterans Administration Hospital said 700 patients may have been contaminated via accidentally reused insulin pens.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130124/olean-general-hospital-reused-insulin-pens