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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Guthrie Corning sounds alert over nurse’s actions

  • Nearly 250 people who were treated at Corning Hospital between mid-October and late January may have been exposed to disease by a nurse who reused saline syringes.??

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  • Nearly 250 people who were treated at Corning Hospital between mid-October and late January may have been exposed to disease by a nurse who reused saline syringes.??
    The hospital has notified 236 people who were patients between Oct. 15 and Jan. 29 that they were potentially exposed to HIV and hepatitis B and C. The exposure risk, however, was low, according to hospital officials.??
    “Based on our investigation and our equipment that’s used, we feel the risk is very low,” said Dr. Michael Scalzone, associate vice president of medical affairs.??
    Scalzone said there is no documentation that a syringe was reused on any specific patient, nor is there any indication of transmission of any blood-borne infection in any patient who received a saline flush from the nurse.??   
    Still, the hospital is urging patients who received letters to undergo testing to ensure they did not contract HIV or hepatitis. The hospital will pay for the testing. Those who received a letter should call (855) 316-7944 to set up an appointment or ask questions.??
    Patients who were treated at the hospital between Oct. 15 and Jan. 29 but did not receive a letter are not at risk, officials said.
    ?“We apologize for the concern this has caused our patients,” said Dr. Brian Fillipo, Guthrie’s chief medical ??officer. “Our primary concern is with our patients and ensuring they receive precautionary testing.”
    The exposure concern stems from a nurse ? who has been fired ? who reused single-use saline syringes, which are needleless and are used to flush IV tubing before and after medication is administered through an IV. The hospital’s infection-control protocol dictates that the syringes be used only once.
    ??“Guthrie Corning Hospital conducted a thorough investigation and has coordinated with the New York State Department of Health,” Fillipo said. “We have confirmed that no other nurses were following this practice and this was an isolated incident. Guthrie Corning Hospital’s nurses are taught to use the single-use saline syringe one time and then discard it. We are evaluating our training program to determine if any changes need to be made.”??
    Scalzone said he does not believe the nurse’s actions were criminal.

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