A New Jersey surgery center has sent letters to 3,778 former patients, warning them that they may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens due to inadequate sterilization processes (infection controls) used by the surgery center.
The letter states, in part:
“You are receiving this letter because you received a procedure at HealthPlus Surgery Center, LLC (“HealthPlus”) between January 1, 2018 and September 7, 2018. An investigation by the New Jersey Department of Health revealed that during this time period, lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications may have exposed patients to bloodborne pathogens (diseases in people’s blood), such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). To date, there have not been reports of any infections or illness related to the investigation. However, HealthPlus and the New Jersey Department of Health recommend that you get blood tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.”
“Knowing if you have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV is important because there are medicines, treatments, and other things that people with these infections can do to protect their health. You can be infected with these diseases and not feel sick at all. It is important that you get tested, even if you do not remember feeling sick. The tests are a simple blood test.”
“All of us at HealthPlus understand this may be upsetting. We want to assure you that we will assist you during this process, including paying for all medial costs associated with testing. We recommend that you get tested as soon as possible. To provide you with more information, a fact sheet on these infections has been included with this letter.”
On August 9, 2018, the Kaiser Health News and USA Today Network published a report entitled Simple Surgeries. Tragic Results. Lax Oversight Leaves Surgery Center Regulators And Patients In The Dark regarding the results of an investigation. The report warned that “surgery centers operate under such an uneven mix of rules across U.S. states that fatalities or serious injuries can result in no warning to government officials, much less to potential patients. The gaps in oversight enable centers hit with federal regulators’ toughest sanctions to keep operating, according to interviews, a review of hundreds of pages of court filings and government records obtained under open records laws. No rule stops a doctor exiled by a hospital for misconduct from opening a surgery center down the street.”
If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a procedure performed in an outpatient surgery center in New Jersey or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney, or a medical malpractice attorney in your state, who may investigate your surgery center malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you with your surgery center medical malpractice claim.
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