Attorney Adam Gee of the Ziff Law Firm, who represents nearly 80 Corning Hospital patients in a medical malpractice lawsuit who were potentially exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV when a nurse used the same syringe on multiple patients, has filed a new lawsuit on behalf of one of those patients who has now been diagnosed with hepatitis C.
The lawsuit was filed in Chemung County Supreme Court.
It can sometimes take a year or longer for diseases like hepatitis and HIV to result in a positive blood test. For the patient recently diagnosed, it was his one-year test that finally showed he had contracted hepatitis C, Adam said.
“This diagnosis should serve as a warning to all the Corning Hospital patients affected by the reuse of these single-use syringes: Don’t skip your tests, don’t think you aren’t at risk and don’t think this couldn’t happen to you. Get all of your testing done,” he said. “Guthrie has agreed to pay for the testing for a year, but also consider having additional testing done to make sure you and your family are safe.”
Guthrie Corning Hospital admitted that a registered nurse did not follow proper procedure when she used single-use saline syringes to flush multiple IV lines between Oct. 15, 2012, and Jan. 29, 2013. The single-use saline syringes are used to flush IV tubing before and after medication is administered.
The hospital said it mailed letters to 236 patients who were exposed to the contaminated syringes and urged them to be tested at regular intervals.
“For the last year, Guthrie doctors and nurses and administrative staff have been incorrectly telling the exposed patients how there is little risk they could become sick,” Adam said. “We knew that there was a significant risk that patients could become ill, as New York State health records show that there were three hepatitis C positive patients at Corning Hospital during the time the nurse was reusing the single-use syringes.
“The recent diagnosis that one of my clients contracted hepatitis C shows how real the risk is. Because of the malpractice committed by this nurse, hundreds of patients were potentially exposed to these deadly diseases.”
Guthrie Corning Hospital patients seeking more information on the lawsuit can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Adam Gee at 800-943-3529.
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