February 25, 2016
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NJ hospital warns patients of possible HIV, hepatitis exposure

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Patients at a hospital in New Jersey may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus through a former employee who was arrested on charges he tampered with medication.

A spokesman for Shore Medical Center in Somers Point confirmed the hospital sent letters to 213 patients notifying them of possible exposure through the former employee’s blood.

Patients who received certain IV medications between June 1, 2013, and Sept. 17, 2014, were contacted, the hospital said in a statement.

“We are providing free testing and support through every step and are partnering with local health department agencies during this testing period in order to be extremely cautious,” Brian Cahill, the hospital’s marketing and public relations director, told Infectious Disease News.

In January, the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office announced that a former hospital pharmacist was arrested on charges that he stole morphine from Shore Medical Center and replaced it with saline solution in vials intended for IV injection.

The hospital said an internal investigation found the man had tampered with some medications between July 1, 2014, and Sept. 17, 2014. – by Gerard Gallagher