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Former Mayo Clinic Employee Put Patients at Hepatitis Risk


Over the past few weeks, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida has notified patients who may have been put at risk for hepatitis by the actions of a former employee.

The former employee who’s name has not been released was fired in August. The former employee worked in the radiology department and had Hepatitis C. He is reported to have stolen syringes filled with a potent painkiller and injected himself with it.

The risk to patients comes from the former employee’s actions to avoid detection. He is reported to have refilled the used syringes with saline and returning them to storage. He reportedly continued this process for several years before he was caught.

Hepatitis risk letter is sent to 2,100 patients

Mayo Clinic reports 2,400 have been tested, and letters have been sent to 2,100 more. The additional patients are primarily those who received care in Interventional Radiology at St. Luke’s Hospital from 2004 to April 11, 2008, when Mayo Clinic owned St. Luke’s Hospital.

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Positive results will be reported the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mayo Clinic will not publicly disclose test results. Patients who receive a positive result will be assigned a care coordinator to answer questions, coordinate appointments and care at Mayo Clinic or ensure a smooth transition of information to the patient’s primary care physician. Patients who receive a negative result are provided a personal contact to answer questions.

Patients who receive letters and have questions about the testing can call the toll-free hotline, staffed by Mayo Clinic nurses, at 877-956-1768. It is available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.

This is not the first time patients have been put at risk from unprofessional actions of healthcare workers. Here are several stories that relate to the same
Hepatitis C Alert for Colorado Springs Patients
Manhattan Dialysis Center Notifies Patients Of Possible Exposure to Infections
Veterans Get Tested for HIV and Hepatitis After Colonoscopy

Further information about hepatitis C is available at the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/PDFs/HepCGeneralFactSheet.pdf.

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