A local health care facility, South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside,
New York, announced on February 22, 2014, that it may have exposed over
four thousand patients to various funguses, viruses and bacteria because
of the reuse of insulin pens. Among the diseases mentioned by the urgent
warning letter to patients as possibly being transmitted are HIV, hepatitis
B and hepatitis C. Our firm has investigation experience in these cases
from a similar scandal at Olean General Hospital in Cattaraugus County,
New York, which reused insulin pens with two thousand patients from 2009 to 2013.
In March 2014, exposed patients should have gotten a letter from South
Nassau Communities Hospital that nurses improperly reused insulin reservoir
pens and recommended testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The
potential for exposure comes through pens which reused the insulin reservoir.
The FDA has warned for several years against the reuse of insulin pens
because infections can be transmitted between patients through cross contamination.
Despite these warnings, hospitals continue to reuse insulin pens and subject
patients to the risk of infection with life threatening diseases and infections.
Medical Malpractice and Product Liability Law Firm Focused on Successful
Results for Almost 40 Years
At the New York medical malpractice law firm of Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo
& Plotkin LLP we have handled medical malpractice claims for almost
four decades, including those where viral infection occurred. We have
represented patients infected from Hepatitis C in Baxter's Gammagard
and the reused equipment at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. We
also litigated on behalf of an estate for a wrongful death arising out
of the recalled contaminated Chinese-made heparin which was used by the
New York upstate hospital Faxton-St. Luke's in Utica, New York.
Potential Product Liability Claim
Many medical devices, such as insulin pens, do not come with appropriate
warnings or safety protection. Our firm has experience in determining
how devices such as these insulin pens should be made safer. In these
situations, one would consider banning their use from hospitals due to
the potential for reuse between different patients.
From our past experience in handling disease transmission litigation, we
know the importance of establishing that our clients were disease-free
before the exposure. We also do a "trace back" which connects
our client with exposure to whatever was contaminated. This often entails
a forensic review of purchases and administration records, along with
personal medical records, which may require subpoenas and document preservation orders.
The attorneys of Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP have handled
hundreds of medical malpractice cases and defective drug cases. We are
highly experienced in courtroom litigation and have recovered a combined
hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for clients injured by
negligent doctors, nurses, pharmacists and drug manufacturers.