Over 200 Patients Exposed to HIV and Hepatitis in New Jersey Hospital
A former employee accused of tampering with drugs may have exposed more than 200 people to hepatitis an HIV at a New Jersey medical center.
About the Potential Hepatitis/HIV Exposure
According to Reuters, Shore Medical Center, located just outside of Atlantic City, notified 213 patients via letter who were treated with intravenous medications. The concern is that the patients could have been exposed with blood-borne pathogens containing HIV or Hepatitis B or C through the employee’s blood.
Potentially infected patients were at the medical center between the dates of June 1, 2013 and September 17, 2014.
All patients are being offered free testing and support. Dawn Thomas, a New Jersey Health Department spokeswoman, described the exposure risk as low.
The hospital, state health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to investigate the incident.
About the Accused Employee
Frederick McLeish, 53, a former pharmacist at Shore is accused of removing the drugs from the vials that were used to prepare the IV solutions and replacing them with saline solution. He had been authorized to prescribe, dispense, or administer medicine.
The hospital identified a problem and fired McLeish.
He has since been indicted with the charges of drug tampering, theft, and drug possession by the Atlantic County grand jury. He was released on the same day as the indictment.
His attorney declined to comment on the case.