CT Hospital Says Patients May Have Been Exposed to Tainted Insulin Pens
A statement released on Friday by Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT advises former patients that they may have been exposed to infectious diseases due to misused insulin pens, according to a report on Boston.com
Details of the Insulin Pen Risk
The insulin pens in question are designed to deliver multiple doses to a single patient. The body of the pen, or cartridge, carries several doses of injectable insulin. The pen also comes with multiple needles that are to be changed after each use.
Griffin Hospital says even though the needles were changed, some pens may have been used on more than one patient. A statement from the hospital said, “Even when using a new needle, the possibility exists that a pen’s insulin cartridge can be contaminated through the backflow of blood or skin cells from one patient, and thus could potentially transmit an infection if used on another patient.”
Patients who stayed at the hospital between September 1, 2008 and May 7, 2014 and received insulin injections are being urged to get tested within the next 30 days for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. The hospital believes more than 3,000 patients received injections in that time frame.
Discovery of the Insulin Pen Misuse
The potential misuse of the pens was discovered when a nurse asked a pharmacist about the pens and if it was safe to use them on more than one patient. Although the hospital has not identified any patients who were put at risk, five nurses said they either witnessed pen misuse or did so themselves.
Griffin Hospital has said the nurses who misused the pens would be disciplined but not punished.