Tags: Health Topics | hiv | hepatitis | new jersey | infection | surgery

NJ Surgery Center May Have Exposed 3,700 to HIV, Hepatitis

a team of surgeons and nurses operate in an operating room
(Sergey Guneev/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 December 2018 02:25 PM

A surgery center in New Jersey might have exposed thousands of patients to HIV and hepatitis due to "lapses in infection control" and sterilization, according to the state's department of health, NBC News reported Tuesday.

An investigation of HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook revealed more than 3,700 patients who had procedures there between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 this year might have been exposed to blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, according to a statement from the center.

It is not clear what prompted the probe, but the investigation found members of the center's staff did not follow proper sterilization procedures "and failed to comply with other regulations regarding the dispensing and storage of medication, as well as infection control planning and procedures," according to the statement.

"Although the risk of infection is low, out of an abundance of caution, [we] recommend patients get blood tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV," the health department said in a statement.

HealthPlus added it would pay for the testing and so far "there have not been reports of any infections or illness related to the investigation," according to ABC News.

The state shut down the surgery center Sept. 7, and allowed it to reopen Sept. 28 after HealthPlus hired new staff, beefed up infection control, carried out training for its new sterile-processing staff, and cleaned and repaired all medical equipment.

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According to New Jersey's department of health, an investigation of HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook revealed more than 3,700 patients who had procedures there between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 might have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
hiv, hepatitis, new jersey, infection, surgery
234
2018-25-25
Tuesday, 25 December 2018 02:25 PM
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