Over 3,000 Patients Believed to be Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis at Surgery Center
According to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), over 3,000 patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C at the HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
The DOH released a new statement with the HealthPlus Surgery Center requesting that any patients who received a procedure at the surgery center between January and September 2018 to get a blood test for hepatitis and HIV. According to the statement, there have been no reported incidences of infection or illness relating to the investigation to date.
This statement was released after a letter was sent out notifying patients who had a procedure at the center during that specified time period that they may have come into contact with various infections.
On September 7, 2018 the DOH closed the HealthPlus Surgery Center after an investigation which revealed “lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications” that “may have exposed patients to bloodborne pathogens.”
On September 28, the DOH allowed the center to reopen. During the period in which the center was closed, HealthPlus said it hired new staff members, conducted training for its new sterile-processing staff, improved infection control, and cleaned and repaired all medical equipment.
The letter sent to all patients during this possible window of infection stressed that it is important to get tested “even if you do not remember feeling sick.”