Thanks to advances in the medical field, doctors are better prepared to treat illness today than they were centuries ago. Additionally, medical personnel in Pennsylvania are better able to help patients manage their pain. Despite these advances, many patients find themselves suffering as a result of harm caused by medical staff. For example, personnel at an out-of-state hospital are contacting patients to let them know they could have potentially been exposed to three different blood borne diseases as a result of the alleged actions of a hospital employee, likely prompting some to question whether hospital negligence may have been a factor.
The issue involves a 53-year-old man hired to be a registered pharmacist at the hospital. Officials believe that he took morphine that was meant for intravenous solutions and replaced them with saline. The man was arrested in January and now faces multiple criminal charges, including drug tampering and possession, as a result.
Hospital officials have notified over 200 patients who received such drugs between June 2013 and Sept. 2014 that they should be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C. The hospital is offering free testing. One potentially affected patient who tested negative for the diseases questions why it took officials a year and a half to notify patients about the potential issue as people could have been sick and without treatment during that time.
It is hard to imagine the anguish that a person would feel knowing that he or she has been exposed to a serious pathogen through the actions of a pharmacist at a hospital. Patients are likely wondering how the man's alleged actions were undetected for so long. While this case occurred out-of-state, there are many in Pennsylvania who have also suffered as a result of medical malpractice. For some, filing a civil lawsuit was the best option to seek recompense for harm caused by hospital negligence.
Source: nj.com, "Patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis, hospital warns", Matt Gray, Feb. 25, 2016