Mayo Clinic worker used patients' syringes, may have spread Hepatitis C

A radiology technologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. likely transmitted Hepatitis C to at least three transplant patients--one of whom who died shortly after he would have been exposed--via used syringes, the hospital announced yesterday. The infected worker admitted to taking drugs intended for the patients, reports the Florida Times-Union.

"[W]e think that Hepatitis C contributed to [the deceased patient's] death," Dr. John Noseworthy, the CEO of Mayo Clinic said in a conference. Mayo fired the employee Tuesday.

"We have been working closely with health authorities to investigate these isolated incidences, and we have taken definitive steps, including thorough process review, to ensure continued patient safety," Mayo officials said in a statement. In addition, Mayo has set up a hot line for patients who want more information, or want to be screened for Hepatitis C. The toll-free number is (877) 956-1768. 

"We are proactively contacting patients who may be affected by this former employee's regrettable actions," said Mayo officials. "The safety and proper care of our patients is our most important concern."

For more:
- here's the Mayo Clinic's press release
- here's the Florida Times-Union article

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