Doctors are advising those patients treated at the HealthPlus Surgery Center from January to Sept. 7 be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
“Deficiencies in infection control,” such as poorly sterilized instruments and unsanitary medication injections may have put some 3,778 patients at risk for bloodborne pathogens, said center administrator Betty McCabe.
“We recognize that this may be upsetting to our patients, and we are taking this matter very seriously and taking steps to assist them during this process. To that end, we have provided information about where and when they can get tested, as well as offered to pay for all medical costs associated with testing," McCabe said.
The center was temporarily closed on Sept. 7 after state health investigators found medical personnel failing to follow proper procedure. Although no illness have been reported so far, the state health department says patients may have been exposed to serious infections and recommends “an abundance of caution.”
In a statement, HealthPlus said, "We have taken this issue very seriously. The New Jersey Department of Health's move to close the facility provided an opportunity to focus more intently on quality, safety and a consistent adherence to sound policies and procedures. As a result, we have made significant improvements to ensure our patients' safety and good health."
Some of these adjustments include a band of new hires, improvements to training techniques, as well as better monitoring of infection control and medication dispensing procedures. The surgical center is also offering to pay for any medical costs associated with blood testing.