According to the hospital, no patients have been reported to have been infected so far.
Hundreds of patients at Salem Hospital in Massachusetts may have been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, the hospital announced.
About 450 patients undergoing endoscopy procedures at the hospital, located 20 miles northeast of Boston, may have been exposed to radiation over a two-year period, according to a statement from Salem Hospital released Wednesday and provided to ABC News. It is said that there is.
An endoscopy is when a doctor inserts a tube-like instrument into your body to look inside your body. Types of endoscopy include bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, and laparoscopy.
Salem Hospital said the patient may have been exposed while administering IV drugs “in a manner inconsistent with our hospital’s best practices.”
The hospital said it became aware of the incident earlier this year, corrected its practices and notified its quality and infection control team.
Hospital officials did not say specifically how the exposure occurred or how it was fixed.
Salem Hospital has been working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health since learning of the outbreak and, after an investigation, “has determined that the risk of infection to patients from this incident is extremely small,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Salem Hospital is notifying all potentially affected patients and has set up a hotline staffed by clinicians to answer questions and provide free testing and any support they may need,” the statement said. continued. “So far, there is no evidence of infection from this incident.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health told ABC News it conducted an on-site investigation at the hospital and worked with the infection control team to manage the situation.
“DPH recommended that hospitals notify all affected patients in writing of potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens and provide free follow-up care, including testing,” the agency said. .
A spokesperson for Mass Brigham, which owns Salem Hospital, told ABC News that testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are standard tests for these types of infections.
The spokesperson also stressed that the risk of infection is small and there is no need to worry if patients have not been notified.
“Patient safety is our top priority and we took multiple corrective actions in response to this incident,” Mass Brigham’s statement continued. “We sincerely apologize to those affected. We will continue to provide high-quality, compassionate medical care to the local community.”
Although there is a vaccine available for hepatitis B, there are no vaccines to prevent infection with hepatitis C and HIV.
Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral drugs, with the latter reportedly being 95% curable. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although HIV is not curable, it can be treated and managed with antiretroviral therapy. This drug reduces the amount of virus in a patient’s body, making it virtually undetectable and therefore unable to be transmitted.