A 58-year-old Brooklyn woman reportedly tested positive for hepatitis B virus after she was a patient at a New Jersey surgical facility that is being sued by former patients over possible exposure to a number of infectious pathogens, according to Reuters.
The woman is one of 3,778 former patients that state health officials warned were potentially exposed to HBV, hepatitis C and HIV at HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7, 2018, Reuters reported. The outlet said one of her lawyers announced her positive HBV test.
According to an attorney representing the facility, a state inspection conducted on Sept. 7 found that “sterilization and medication dispensing were not operating consistent with standard procedure.” The final New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) report indicated that multidose medicines were improperly dispensed and there were lapses in sterilization procedures, primarily with orthopedic instruments and surgical trays, the attorney, Mark Manigan, said in a statement.
The facility’s director of nursing resigned, and two employees were fired, according to Manigan. He said the facility underwent a procedural overhaul and conducted staff training to address the concerns expressed by the DOH.
According to Manigan, since the inspection, HealthPlus has undergone weekly inspections and has been deemed compliant as of Sept. 27. The DOH recommended that any patient who underwent a procedure at HealthPlus between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 get tested “out of an abundance of caution,” and HealthPlus has offered to reimburse patients for the cost of testing, according to Reuters.
“HealthPlus deeply regrets this incident but is proud of how we responded to it and is committed to continuing to perform admirably,” Manigan said.
The report, the facility’s plans and future information can be found at this website. – by Caitlyn Stulpin
Disclosure: Manigan represents HealthPlus Surgery Center.