700+ patients at the Buffalo Veterans Administration Center may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C because of accidental reuse of insulin pens. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Of course, the hospital is trying to downplay this egregious lapse in judgment by saying there is a "very small risk" for the diabetic patients who may have been exposed to the reused insulin pens between Oct. 19, 2010 and November 2012. Yeah right. Regardless of risk, everyone should be held accountable!
Here's what happened according to a rep:
"[We] recently discovered that in some cases, insulin pens were not labeled for individual patients. Although the pen needles were always changed, an insulin pen may have been used on more than one patient."
Even with a fresh needle, contamination could have occurred if bodily fluid flowed back into the insulin pens.
We as patients EXPECT hospitals to keep us safe, and do what they can to make it happen. We understand avoidable problems, what we can't understand are mistakes like this.
Terrifying — if you're one of the 700+ patients, make sure you've been tested!
[Image via AP Images.]