VA testing former inpatients for infection from reused insulin pens

  • Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:01 a.m.

SALISBURY — The Hefner VA Medical Center is testing 205 former inpatients for infection from improper re-use of insulin pens.

Each multidose pen is assigned to a patient and is not to be used on anyone else. But two nurses have each reported an incident of reusing a pen on another patient after changing the needle.

The risk of infection with such use is “very, very low,” said Dr. Charles de Comarmond, chief, infectious disease, at the VA Medical Center. “But it is a risk.”

The patients are being tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

The hospital is testing all the diabetic inpatients the two nurses treated between September 2010 and Jan. 10, 2013.

Blood tests from patients who have been tested so far have been negative for infection. They will be retested in six months.

“We want to be open and direct about the issue,” said Kaye Green, director of the Hefner VA.

The VA has set up a tollfree line to field questions about it at 1-855-286-2248.

Look for more details in Friday’s Post.

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