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Home / Health / The N.J. Operations Center, which may have exposed thousands of HIV-infected people, had rusty equipment, reports said

The N.J. Operations Center, which may have exposed thousands of HIV-infected people, had rusty equipment, reports said



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By Kalhan Rosenblatt

The Operations Center in New Jersey, where more than 3,700 patients were potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis, used rusty utensils and soiled sheets of the Department of Health report State.

The HealthPlus Surgery Center at Saddle Brook, New Jersey, was shut down on Sept. 7 after the US Department of Health noted several violations of sterilization and hygiene requirements, according to a summary quote sheet publicly released on Friday. The HealthPlus Surgery Center reopened on September 28th.

However, before HealthPlus was reopened, it had to correct a number of violations, including improper storage of medicines, staffing issues, and inadequate sterilization equipment.

The citation sheet described sterilized instruments as containing "rust-like stains". The staff told the health care surveyor that if rust is visible, a nurse would decide whether to use it in a procedure or not.

The report also contained detailed information on medical staff who was not treating their beards and facial hair during the treatments. Another violation found that a stretcher reserved for transporting a patient had a "red, wet spot" which did not clean properly even after the surveyor asked the report if it should be changed ,

Since Discovery of Inappropriate Sterilization Process According to the facility's attorney, Mark Manigan, HealthPlus has dismissed two employees.

"Leading consultants who carry out process overhauls and train both existing and new personnel were hired immediately, and we are confident that the issues raised by the department have so," Manigan said at a press conference on Saturday.

Since the detection of the violations, HealthPlus has recruited new staff, improved infection control, conducted training for its new sterile processing staff and cleaned and repaired all medical equipment.

Earlier this month, patients were seen at the facility between January 1

and September 7 and may have been infected during their time at the operation. All centers were contacted by HealthPlus via a letter from the health department.

Manigan told NBC News on Wednesday that the delay between detecting breaches and contacting patients was due to the health center's advice to health authorities. What protocols and guidelines would require a review of records to identify the appropriate universe of patients to find, and the relief of the patients who are not affected. "On Saturday, Manigan said the first 186 people tested did not have any infections, but one person had returned positive preliminary results in chronic hepatitis, Manigan said the preliminary results indicate" a pre-patient condition "at HealthPlus

"We know patients with pre-existing conditions such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. We expect the process to continue." The department also acknowledges that there could be undiagnosed cases of pre-existing conditions within this population, and based on what we know and what we do not know, the appropriate answer is the test, "Manigan said. If the positive was tested, the New Jersey Department of Health could already face the disease or be a contract from HealthPlus

A former HealthPlus patient, who was awaiting her results on Saturday, was Kristin Debenedictis, 37, of Rochelle Park, New Jersey.

Debenedictis was treated at HealthPlus Surgery Ce for a herniated disc In April and July after a car accident in January.

When she received the letter from HealthPlus informing her that she may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, she was shocked.

"Let's be in the dark From January to the December holidays, it's extremely dreadful," Debenedictis told NBC News on Wednesday. "Shame on you, HealthPlus."

Debenedictis said she was tested on Christmas Eve. On Saturday, her lawyer Sanford Rubenstein told NBC News that his client was still waiting for her results.

Kalhan Rosenblatt

Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter for NBC News in New York.


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