By now, most people reading this blog are likely aware of the many individuals who were reportedly infected with hepatitis C by a medical technician that was employed at many hospitals throughout the nation, including UPMC in Pennsylvania. Perhaps not surprisingly there has been great interest by some as to who is to blame for the transmission of the disease. Recently, another hospital allegedly impacted by the man's actions, was found at fault for the 33 infections contracted there.
The state of New Hampshire recently concluded the study it conducted into the 32 hepatitis C infections that occurred at Exeter Hospital. The study found that the hospital failed to act on concerns other employees at the facility expressed regarding the man.
Specifically, workers at the hospital reported the man displaying the following:
- Slurred speech
- Profuse sweating
- Blood-shot eyes
- Foaming at the mouth
In addition to supervisors who were reportedly not supportive of employees reporting the issues, the online system available for employees to report drug use reportedly failed to work the way it was intended. The president of the hospital indicated that the issues were followed-up on but that the technician had what were deemed to be good excuses for the things occurring.
The reporting issues were only part of the problem. Though this report did not focus on it , there were also issues with the way in which drugs at the hospital were handled. They were not properly secured, making it easy for individuals to access them even when they did not have cause to.
The effect this report will have on pending lawsuits remains to be seen.
Source: Associated Press, "Report Faults N.H. Hospital In Hep C Case," Holly Ramer, June 24, 2013