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Woman Sues Hospital for Injecting Her with Contaminated Needle

female patient with doctorA woman has filed a lawsuit against Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, claiming a nurse administered insulin to her with a contaminated insulin pen. Ericka Maciel filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on Jan. 7, citing medical battery, cross contamination of medical equipment and negligence.

The hospital negligence complaint alleges that Maciel was a patient at the medical center on Jan. 24, 2014. She needed an insulin shot three times daily to manager her type I diabetes, so Maciel claims a hospital gave her the injection.

Nearly one year to the day later, Rush doctors told Maciel the employee accidentally injected her with the wrong insulin pen. Prior to her insulin injection, the pen had been used on another patient who had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, according to the lawsuit.

Maciel’s malpractice lawsuit accuses the defendant of failing to follow medical procedures that consequently have caused her suffering, unnecessary pain and loss of enjoyment of a normal life. She is seeking payment for her medical costs and damages for personal injuries incurred.

Nurse reuses flu shot syringe

In Sept. 2015, Otsuka Pharmaceutical employees in Princeton, N.J. were informed they could have been subjected to tainted blood, because a nurse reused a syringe to dispense flu shots. Approximately 70 employees were forced to undergo HIV and hepatitis testing, but faced a long wait for results, because it can take months for the infections to appear.

Healthcare agency TotalWellness admitted the nurse who administered the shots did not follow the appropriate processes. The company has not said whether the nurse will face disciplinary action.

According to NBC 10 news, the New Jersey Department of Health sent letters to 67 employees just days after they received the flu shot, informing them the syringe that had been used on them was previously used several other times. The letter noted that the contamination risk was low, but encouraged those impacted to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The NJDOH said the nurse did change the needle for each patient, but reused the syringe. The affected employees received a free blood test immediately after the incident and were required to be tested again four to six months later to ensure they had not been infected.

In addition to reusing the syringe, health officials also determined the nurse failed to administer the recommended dose of the flu shot. The Department of Health issued a warning that anyone who received the vaccine would need another shot to provide adequate protection from the flu.

Tainted needle puts NY patients at risk

In 2014, a New York hospital warned more than 4,000 patients they may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV after insulin pens were reused.

South Nassau Communities Hospital in Long Island said the pens had been used on multiple patients dating back to 2011. Hospital officials said the risk of infection was extremely low, but encouraged patients to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.