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74 Put At Risk Of Contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

Staff Writer3 years ago

According to NBC, seventy-four prisoners in Connecticut have learned they may have possibly contracted HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C via a standard medical procedure carried out by a nurse from the UConn Health Center. 

Nurse’s Mistake Leads to Contamination

“There is a possibility that a vial of insulin that you may have recently come into contact with was contaminated.” – Letter received by inmates as published by NBC News

  • The nurse’s mistake, which she made while administering insulin at MacDougall-Walker state prison in Suffield, Connecticut, was only discovered by the public after May 28th, when a letter was sent to dozens of the prison’s diabetic inmates.
  • The letter warned they may have received insulin from a contaminated vial, then asked for the prisoners' consent to testing for three deadly, blood-borne diseases: HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
  • Under scrutiny from a local news team, the Department of Correction and UConn, which handles health care for inmates at all state prisons, would only confirm that contaminated insulin had been given to inmate.
  • Details regarding how this happened were withheld.

Prison Had Used Court Document to Test for HIV

  • Further investigation by the news team revealed court documents wherein the state admits that one of the nurses, “made a mistake.”
  • The “mistake” refers to a nurse who attempted to administer insulin to a patient with hepatitis C. After realizing she had not filled the shot with insulin, she replaced the contaminated needle into the insulin vial.
  • She then administered the medicine to the hepatitis C infected prisoner and then continued to administer insulin from that same vial.
  • UConn said it and the Department of Correction are still investigating how the error happened and that the nurse in question had been put on paid administrative leave.
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