News Article: Class-Action Lawsuit Targets Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital for HIV and Hepatitis Exposure
Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital is currently facing a major legal battle as a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the hospital. This comes after allegations that hundreds of patients may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis due to negligently administered intravenous medications during endoscopy procedures conducted between June 2021 and April of this year.
The lawsuit not only targets Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital but also 10 hospital employees allegedly involved in the negligence. However, it is important to note that the hospital has responded to these allegations by emphasizing that the risk of infection is extremely low. At this point, no reported infections have been identified.
Salem Hospital first became aware of the isolated practice involving endoscopy patients earlier this year and quickly took corrective actions once informed. The hospital’s quality and infection control teams were immediately notified.
In response to the situation, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted an onsite investigation at Salem Hospital. Collaborating with Mass General Brigham’s infection control team, DPH’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality and the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences are actively managing the situation.
Both DPH and Salem Hospital have reassured the public that the risk of infection for patients is extremely small, and there is currently no known evidence of infections resulting from the exposures. Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, exposed patients are being tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
A spokesperson for Salem Hospital has confirmed that all patients who may have been exposed have been notified. Of those affected, 90% have either completed, scheduled, or declined free testing.
Mass General Brigham reiterated through their spokesperson that patients who have not received a notification should not be concerned about potential exposure.
As this legal battle unfolds, both the hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will continue to work diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of all patients involved. It is crucial to remember the ethical guidelines and sensitivities surrounding medical issues when reporting on such matters.