Long Island Hospital Warns of Possible Hepatitis, HIV Exposure

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 8:28 PM EDT
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Patients at South Nassau Communities hospital are being urged to get tested for hepatitis and HIV after a possible contamination of insulin shots. Greg Cergol reports.

Patients at South Nassau Communities hospital are being urged to get tested for hepatitis and HIV after a possible contamination of insulin shots. Greg Cergol reports.

A Long Island hospital says some patients may be at risk of exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV after authorities found that an insulin pen may have been used on more than one patient.

South Nassau Communities Hospital says the risk of infection is extremely low but is recommending that patients get tested. 

The hospital sent a letter to that effect to more than 4,000 patients, according to Newsday. It is offering free blood testing and has set up a toll-free hotline that patients can call to schedule a blood test.

The number is 516-208-0029. 

Newsday reports that no one was observed reusing the insulin pen reservoir but a nurse was heard saying it was OK to do so.

"Once that was said, we then followed through with a report to the state Department of Health," hospital spokesman Damian Becker told the newspaper. 

In the meantime, the hospital has instituted a policy banning the use of insulin pens, permitting only single-use vials to administer prescribed insulin treatments to patients. 

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