As Seen on South Florida Live
|Have a question? Want to know your rights? Please complete the form below if you want to discuss ways we could help you.|
Some of the patients who received re-used IV bags through a Broward General Medical Center nurse's blunder tested positive for infectious diseases, the hospital said yesterday. Nurse Qui Lan put over 1,800 patients at risk when she reused the bags while administering saline solution to patients at the hospital for cardiac chemical stress tests.
The hospital said yesterday they aren't sure if those infected got the disease from the IV bags or if they were already infected.
"Based on the current Broward County disease prevalence data, we expect some of the screening results to be positive for infection exposure and we will need to conduct an individual evaluation to help determine the origin," Dr. David Droller, head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at Broward, said in a statement. "At this time, we will make certain the individual receives appropriate care and follow-up."
The hospital has offered to test anyone who received the stress tests, and so far has gotten back preliminary results from 254 people who were tested.
The tests are screening for HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis B and C .
According to officials, nurse Qui Lan used the same IV bag on different patients on multiple occasions when proper protocol at the hospital is to switch out the IV bags for new ones on each new patient. Lan, a seven-year veteran, had handled IVs during the stress tests since 2004. Lan was suspended and later resigned. She has since left the country.
Hospital officials are concerned that fluids from one patient seeped back into the bag and then transferred to another patient that used the same bag.
Lan apparently switched out the IV needle and a portion of the plastic tubing that connects the needle to the solution bag. But in some cases, the nurse would not change the bag containing the saline solution. Officials call the chances of blood backflow into the bag "low."
Broward General sent letters to thousands of patients to notify them of the problem, and yesterday confirmed that 533 patients had received the letter.
The hospital is notifying patients of the results of the preliminary screenings. Though the screenings aren't mandatory, the hospital is encouraging all patients who received the letter to be tested.