More than 1,000 patients are part of a class action lawsuit filed against Goshen Hospital in Indiana that claims potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis B and C, reports The Elkhart Truth.
In November, the hospital notified 1,182 patients who had surgery between April and September of this year that they might have been exposed to the viruses because an employee skipped a step in sterilizing some equipment. Nonetheless, the equipment was treated with chemicals and machine sterilization. Health officials, according to the newspaper, said the risk of exposure was “extremely low.”
The hospital is offering free blood tests to the patients.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Linda Gierek and other patients. Gierek claims that being notified about the potential exposure has caused her “extreme emotional distress and trauma” that could last for years.
Hepatitis B and C are serious forms of viral hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver. Treatments can cure hepatitis B in more than 90% of cases. For the basics about hepatitis, including transmission and treatments, read the Basics in HepMag.com. Similarly, you can learn all about HIV in the Basics pages of POZ.com.