Center for Ambulatory Service Issues Patient Alert
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Patients tested with a device for blood glucose testing prior to surgery are being urged to get screened for diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
The Center of Ambulatory Surgery says the state health department alerted it about the device and mailed 355 patients making them aware about the situation and be screened for possible blood borne infections, such as Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.
Here is a statement from the center:
“As a result of a recent consultative visit to our ambulatory surgery center by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) we were made aware that a device we use for blood Glucose monitoring prior to surgery is no longer recommended for this type of testing. When we became aware of this we immediately stopped using the device at our facility”.“In consultation with the Department of Health we developed a plan to notify our patients who were tested with this device. Letters were mailed to approximately 355 patients making them aware of this matter and recommending that they be screened for possible blood borne infections, including the hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Center is also contacting the primary care physicians for this group of patients.
“The device in question is a disposable lancet that is detachable from the lancet pen used to obtain a blood sample. The disposable lancet was changed between each patient. Although the lancet pen’s triggering mechanism was cleaned thoroughly between patients – according to manufacturer recommendations – it was reused, and it may have placed patients at risk for transmission of these infections. It should be noted that there have been no reports of the transmission of any of these blood borne diseases by any of our patients. There is a low risk of such a transmission occurring.
“We realize that this notification will cause some concern among our patients who underwent this particular test at our center. The safety and health of our patients is our number one priority. We are proud of our reputation and long history in Western New York and we are doing everything we can to make sure every patient is notified and tested as soon as possible.
“We also have established an information line for patients who received a letter to call and arrange for the screening if they choose. The phone will be staffed by a nurse to answer any patient questions. The information line will be in service Monday through Friday from Noon until 8 p.m.
“Because of the sensitivity of this matter and patient confidentiality we are not going to have any further comment than what is provided in our statement.”