Hundreds of patients at the Salem Hospital in Massachusetts may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV over a two-year period, but the infection risk is extremely small, the hospital said.
About 450 endoscopy patients may have been exposed during the administration of intravenous medications “in a manner not consistent with our best practice,” the hospital said Wednesday in a statement through its parent company, Mass General Brigham. The hospital learned of the issue earlier this year.
“Once identified, the practice was immediately corrected, and the hospital’s quality and infection control teams were notified,” it said, though it didn’t provide specifics about how the problem occurred.
There is no evidence so far that any patients were infected, the hospital said.
All patients who may have been exposed have been notified, and the hospital has set up a free hotline to answer questions and is providing free screenings, the hospital said. “The infections we are testing for are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV, which are standard tests for a potential exposure of this kind,” a Mass General Brigham spokesman said by email.