About 4,200 patients may be at HIV risk in a New York Hospital as they are feared to have received insulin of possible exposure to hepatitis viruses and human immunodeficiency virus due to possible blood contamination.
South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside on Long Island, near New York City, have issued alert to the patients, saying they may have received insulin from a pen reservoir — not a single-use disposable needle — that could have been used on more than one patient.
A hospital statement said, “The risk of infection from this is extremely low. However, it is recommended that the patients “be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.”
The hospital authorities have denied of any case of infection reported so far.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pen-shaped insulin injector devices are often used to give the hormone to patients and contain a reservoir or cartridge. It is recommended that the pens should be limited to one patient because regurgitation of blood into the insulin cartridge can occur after injection. This can up the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission even when the needle is changed, according to the CDC.
“South Nassau has already implemented a hospital-wide policy that bans the use of insulin pens and permits only the use of single-patient-use vials to administer prescribed insulin treatments to patients,” the statement said.