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Mass. DPH, hospital investigating patients potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said it was aware and investigating that hundreds of patients were potentially exposed to HIV infection and hepatitis at Salem Hospital due to improper administration of intravenous medications. A spokesperson for Mass General Brigham, which owns the Salem hospital, said Wednesday that nearly 450 patients were affected over a period of about two years. In a statement, the hospital said it became aware of the isolated practice involving endoscopy patients earlier this year. Examples of endoscopic procedures include colonoscopies and gastrointestinal ultrasounds. The hospital said the practice was immediately corrected once notified and the hospital’s quality and infection control teams were notified. DPH said it conducted an on-site investigation at Salem Hospital. The DPH Office of Healthcare Safety and Quality and the Office of Infectious Diseases and Laboratory Sciences are working with the Mass General Brigham Infection Control Team to manage the situation. DPH and Salem Hospital said the risk of infection to patients is extremely low and there is no known evidence of infections resulting from these exposures. Exposed patients are being tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, Salem Hospital said. A Salem hospital spokesperson said all potentially exposed patients have been notified and 90% of them have completed, scheduled or declined a free test. Mass General spokesman Brigham said patients who haven’t been notified need not worry.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said it was aware and investigating that hundreds of patients were potentially exposed to HIV infection and hepatitis at Salem Hospital due to improper administration of intravenous medications.

A spokesperson for Mass General Brigham, which owns the Salem hospital, said Wednesday that nearly 450 patients were affected over a period of about two years.

In a statement, the hospital said it became aware of the isolated practice involving endoscopy patients earlier this year. Examples of endoscopic procedures include colonoscopies and gastrointestinal ultrasounds.

The hospital said the practice was immediately corrected once notified and the hospital’s quality and infection control teams were notified.

DPH said it conducted an on-site investigation at Salem Hospital. The DPH Office of Healthcare Safety and Quality and the Office of Infectious Diseases and Laboratory Sciences are working with the Mass General Brigham Infection Control Team to manage the situation.

DPH and Salem Hospital said the risk of infection to patients is extremely low and there is no known evidence of infections resulting from these exposures. Exposed patients are being tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, Salem Hospital said.

A Salem hospital spokesperson said all potentially exposed patients have been notified and 90% of them have completed, scheduled or declined free testing.

Mass General spokesman Brigham said patients who haven’t been notified need not worry.

Gn Health

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