(NOW NEWS) – Thousands of people may have been exposed to blood-borne infections in the New Jersey clinic.
According to information from CNN, the HealthPlus Surgery Center warns more than 3,000 patients who may have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens if they have an outpatient procedure in Saddle Brook between January and September 2018.
An investigation by the New Jersey Health Department found that HealthPlus employees they did not follow the sterilization procedure and that medical instruments were not properly cleaned, which can make patients exposed to blood-borne diseases, such as Hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
According to the state health department, no infection was reported until the protocol ended and all affected patients were notified.
Janelle Fleming, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Health Department, told CNN on Monday that "despite the risk of infection is low, because a large number of precautions, HealthPlus and the New Jersey Health Department recommend that patients do blood tests to detect hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV . "
According to a press release, HealthPlus's operations center offers podiatry, orthopedics, pain management and plastic surgery.
A letter from HealthPlus for affected patients says that the next step is that All patients are screened for blood infections and the center will pay medical fees related to the test if the recommended provider does so.
According to the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, hepatitis B and C infections can begin between two and six weeks after someone's exposure.
But infected people may not experience symptoms.
Someone with hepatitis B This can improve without treatment, while others may experience long-term illnesses that can cause liver damage. Hepatitis C This requires treatment and is a long-term disease that can also cause liver damage.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. This can remain in the body and slowly damage the immune system, making it difficult to fight infection.
"All of us at HealthPlus understand that this can be annoying," the letter reads, and continues to explain that "failure to control infections in sterilization / cleaning and injecting drugs" They may have exposed them to patients with various types of diseases.
Facilities where the test can be done.
HealthPlus was closed after the September 7 report and reopened the same month after making the procedural changes needed to comply with guidelines from the New Jersey Health Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Act