Wisconsin Medical Clinic May Have Exposed Thousands To Risk of Disease

Thousands of patients treated at a medical clinic in Madison, Wisconsin may have been exposed to a risk of HIV, hepatitis or other blood-borne diseases while a nurse was training them on how to test their blood sugar levels and inject insulin.

Officials from Dean Clinic have notified at least 2,345 patients treated since 2006 that they should obtain testing for HIV and hepatitis infections, as it has been discovered that a nurse may not have been following appropriate safety guidelines or protocals.

It has been discovered that an unnamed certified diabetic education nurse at the clinic was re-using insulin demonstration pens and finger prick devices on multiple patients who had recently been diagnosed with diabetes.

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The insulin demonstration pens were actually being used on patients, while they were supposed to be used on pillows or oranges to demonstrate the proper method of injecting insulin. While the nurse did reportedly use clean needles with each patient, warnings indicate that using the same insulin demonstration pen on multiple patients could expose the individuals to blood-borne disease because blood could flow back into the pen’s reservoir after use.

The nurse was also reportedly reusing the same handle of a finger prick device on multiple patients, although they are designed for single use on one patient. This could also cause a transfer of blood between patients.

According to a report by the Associated Press, no illnesses or diseases have been identified among former patients treated by this nurse at the Wisconsin medical clinic. In addition, clinic officials indicate that patients are probably at very little risk of infection, but should be tested.


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