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January 16, 2008

Another Nassau, NY, Doctor Reuses Needles, Puts Patients at Risk

A Manhasset, Long Island, doctor may have infected up to 36 patients with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other blood-borne illnesses when he reused syringes when administering flu shots in the fall, reports Newsday (newsday.com, 1/15).

The obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. E. Jacob Simhaee, has been under investigation by state health officials since December, when a complaint was filed with the Nassau County Department of Health.

According to the article, Simhaee had used a single syringe—which can hold up to six doses of flu vaccine on multiple patients. Another Nassau County doctor, Harvey Finklestein, was found to have endangered roughly 10,000 of his patients through reused syringes. Of those patients, nine have tested positive for hepatitis C and 13 for hepatitis B. Because both doctors have put Nassau patients at risk within a short period of time, state officials may consider legislative action to prevent further incidents.

“We’re going to have to look into the prohibition of multiple-use vials or limiting the use of syringes to single-use syringes,” state senator Kemp Hannon told Newsday.

In response to the investigation’s findings, Simhaee sent out a letter to each of the 36 at-risk patients, urging them to be tested for HIV and hepatitis.


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