Mass General Brigham Salem Hospital, located in Massachusetts, is currently facing a class-action lawsuit in which hundreds of patients potentially faced exposure to HIV or hepatitis. The lawsuit includes Mass General Brigham, Salem Hospital, and 10 hospital employees as defendants.
The allegations stem from concerns over the negligent administration of intravenous medications during endoscopy procedures that took place between June 2021 and April of this year. Patients are worried about the possible transmission of HIV or hepatitis due to these medical practices.
However, the hospital has responded by stating that the risk of infection is very low, and there have been no identified cases of infections as a result of these exposures. The hospital claims to have swiftly addressed the issue as soon as it was made aware earlier this year.
In response to the situation, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conducted an onsite investigation at Salem Hospital. Both the Department’s Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality and the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences are collaborating with Mass General Brigham’s infection control team to manage the situation effectively.
Both the Department of Public Health and Salem Hospital stress that the infection risk to patients is extremely small, and there is no evidence of infections resulting from these exposures. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, patients who may have been exposed are being tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
A spokesperson from Salem Hospital has confirmed that all potentially exposed patients have been notified, and 90% of them have either completed, scheduled, or declined free testing. This proactive approach ensures that those who may have been affected are receiving appropriate care and attention.
For patients who have not been notified, Mass General Brigham assures them that they do not need to be concerned about potential exposure. The hospital’s actions demonstrate their commitment to patient safety and their dedication to resolving this issue promptly.
As the lawsuit progresses and investigations continue, it is crucial for both the hospital and the Department of Public Health to maintain transparency and provide regular updates to the affected patients and the public.