Orthopedic surgery patient tests positive for hep B after sterilization breach at New Jersey clinic

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | January 09, 2019 | Print  |

Patients who underwent procedures at HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, N.J., were warned by the New Jersey Department of Health that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, according to Reuters.

The health department encouraged patients who visited the surgery center between Jan. 1, 2018 and Sept. 7, 2018 to get tested out of caution. Since the health department's notice one patient, an unidentified 58-year-old woman, tested positive for hepatitis B.

The patient is the first of 3,778 former HealthPlus patients who claim to have been infected due to inaccurate sterilization and medication practices.

A lawsuit brought by the patient accuses the surgery center of "recklessly and negligently" failing to follow sterilization processes, according to Reuters. The patient underwent shoulder surgery at HealthPlus during the time of the sterilization breach.

In a statement to Reuters, HealthPlus' attorney said, "To our knowledge, no infection has been linked to exposure at HealthPlus and definitive results may be weeks or months."

The surgery center notified patients in December 2018 about the infection control issues, such as cleaning instruments and the injection of medicine. HealthPlus also offered to reimburse patients for the costs of testing.

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Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance moves to larger facility: 5 notes

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