Hospitals and hepatitis

Who knows how something like this could happen, but some 44 people have filed a lawsuit against Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire for causing a hepatitis C outbreak. There outbreak, which started on May 10, is believed to have originated in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab. The group of patients is seeking class-action status.

Though the investigation continues, what health officials in New Hampshire suspect is that an employee of the lab was re-using contaminated syringes. The culprit is likely a drug user who was re-using the syringes to hide the fact that they were stealing the syringes for personal use.

Some 20 people so far have tested positive for the same strain of hepatitis C. More than 1,000 patients were in need of testing, and more than half of them have been tested already.

For more on this story, seethis article and this one.