New York hospital warns patients of possible HIV, hepatitis exposure

A New York hospital on Wednesday alerted more than 4,200 patients who may have received insulin of possible exposure to hepatitis viruses and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to possible blood contamination, officials and local media said. South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside on Long Island, near New York City, said patients may have received insulin from a pen reservoir – not a single-use disposable needle – that could have been used on more than one patient. “The risk of infection from this is extremely low,” the hospital said in a statement, adding it was recommending patients “be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.” When asked if anyone was confirmed to have been infected a hospital spokeswoman said “not to my knowledge.” The pen-shaped insulin injector devices are often used by hospitals to give the hormone to patients and contain a reservoir or cartridge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say.
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