Sick with hepatitis, syringe reuse victims sue hospital

In late January, Olean (N.Y) General Hospital announced that almost 2,000 patients may have received an injection from another patient's insulin pen. Now, three patients are suing the hospital, saying they have contracted hepatitis from the injections.

The suit was filed against Olean General and several insulin pen manufacturers after at least 12 people tested positive for hepatitis C, the Associated Press reports.

Hospital spokesman Dennis McCarthy says the hospital has not yet seen the lawsuit, but maintains there's no evidence that patients testing positive for hepatitis contracted the disease through the insulin-pen injections, according to the AP.

An infection scare affecting more than 700 patients at the Buffalo (N.Y.) Veterans Administration Medical Center prompted Olean to initiate an internal review. Following the review, the hospital discontinued use of insulin pens at the facility and informed affected patients about the potential misuse of insulin pens.

Syringe and needle re-use is still problematic, resulting in more than 30 outbreaks of infectious disease from 2001 to 2011.

To learn more:
- read the AP report

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