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October 6, 2009

Broward County, Florida, Nurse Might Have Exposed Patients to HIV, Hepatitis

A nurse at Broward County Medical Center in southern Florida might have exposed more than 1,800 patients undergoing chemical cardiac stress tests to HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne illnesses by reusing saline bags and tubing during a five-year period, The Miami Herald reports.

According to the article, hospital administrators announced October 5 that the nurse has since resigned and that she has been reported to the Board of Nursing. Supervisors are now reviewing whether patients handled by the nurse from January 2004 through early September 2009 could be at risk for infection.

“This is an individual’s unacceptable practice that once discovered was immediately corrected,” James G. Thaw, chief executive of Broward General in Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement. “We at Broward General Medical Center understand that this is alarming and may be frightening but want to assure our patients we will assist in every way possible.”

Broward General has notified 1,851 patients who received chemical cardiac stress tests administered by the nurse and is providing a 24-hour hotline for further questions. The facility is urging all patients to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Search: Broward County, Florida, hepatitis, Fort Lauderdale, saline, cardiac stress test

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