Hepatitis C Lawsuits
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that affects the liver. The disease is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis. In some cases, those with cirrhosis will go on to develop liver failure, liver cancer or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices. Some symptoms of Hepatitis C may emerge but many people live with Hepatitis C for years before being diagnosed.
The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment and transfusions. In 2012 the arrest of David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician who was using syringes of Fentanyl on himself, refilling them with saline and putting the used syringes back into circulation to be used on patients, brought to light how quickly Hepatitis C can be spread. It is estimated that Kwiatkowski, before his arrest in July of 2012, may have exposed over 20,000 people to the Hepatitis C Virus.
Lawsuits Against McKay-Dee Hospital and Davis Hospital and Medical Center
Most recently, a nurse at Utah's McKay-Dee Hospital was arrested after she admitting to using a type of morphine for herself that was extracted through syringes that were supposed to disposed. Close to 4800 patients at McKay-Dee are awaiting testing and test results to see if they have in fact been infected with the Hepatitis C virus. In addition, 2,300 patients at Davis Hospital and Medical Center may have also been exposed.
The virus persists in the liver in about 85% of those infected. This persistent infection may be treated with medication including a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, with either boceprevir or telaprevir. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplantation, though the virus usually recurs after transplantation. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available today.
Lawsuits Against UPMC
UPMC sent approximately 2,000 letters to people who may have been exposed to Hepatitis C. Innocent patients now have been burdened with the worry that they may have been infected with Hepatitis C and may have passed that infection to loved ones or caretakers. If you or a loved one believes that you were exposed to Hepatitis C, please call our office today at 866-586-1910 or email us for a free case evaluation with an experienced medical negligence attorney. All consultations are free and completely confidential.