NURSE REUSED SYRINGES DURING FLU VACCINE CLINIC, N.J. HEALTH AUTHORITIES SAY

“We take full responsibility for this incident…”

by LINDSEY BEVER | WASHINGTON POST | OCTOBER 7, 2015

Health authorities in New Jersey said a nurse reused syringes last week while giving flu shots to 67 employees from a pharmaceutical company.

The New Jersey Department of Health and West Windsor Township Health Department announced Wednesday a joint investigation into the “infection control breach” Sept. 30 at an employee flu vaccine clinic at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in West Windsor, N.J. Health-care agency TotalWellness, which had hired the nurse as a contractor, said that the person “failed to follow proper medical procedures and safeguards.”

“We take full responsibility for this incident and are working diligently with the New Jersey Department of Health to resolve this matter as swiftly as possible,” TotalWellness president Alan Kohll said in a statement. “Our sincerest apologies go out to all those affected by this terrible event.”

The same syringes — not needles — were reused during last week’s clinic though it’s not clear how many syringes were reused, state Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner said in a statement. The risk is low for transmission of hepatitis B and C and HIV, which are blood-borne diseases, she said. But local, state and federal-level Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still recommending that the impacted patients get tested.

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