When patients go to the hospital, they expect the hospital to follow standard safety procedures to keep them safe. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case and more hospitals are reportedly using dirty needles, leading to serious complications or infections in their patients.
Reusing syringes on multiple patients can be very dangerous because syringes can easily spread infections or illnesses between patients. Hospitals are not supposed to share syringes between multiple patients but a recent case in New York shows just how harmful this practice can be and why hospitals need to prevent this type of medical error from happening.
A lawsuit has been filed against the Corning Hospital in New York, the company that owns the hospital and a nurse after several patients were exposed to communicable diseases after a nurse reused syringes on several patients. The allegations against the hospital include claims that a nurse reused saline syringes on 236 patients.
The hospital said that once it learned that a nurse was reusing syringes, they notified the patients and had them tested for several communicable diseases. The hospital said that these patients may have been exposed to HIV and Hepatitis B and C, but it will take a while to complete all the testing to know if any patients contracted a serious disease.
Reusing syringes on multiple patients not only puts patients' health at risk but it also violates hospital safety standards. Hospitals are required to follow safety protocols when caring for patients and when safety standards are not followed, patients' lives may be at risk.
Hospital patients who believe they have been exposed to communicable diseases due to negligence or errors made by hospital staff members should contact a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal action can be taken against the hospital and responsible parties.
Source: Steuben Courier, "Corning Hospital Guthrie faces suit over reused syringes," John Zick, March 31, 2013