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Connecticut hospital sued for reusing insulin pens

October 4, 2016

Written by Alyssa Rege | September 30, 2016 

Nearly 3,150 former patients have filed a class-action lawsuit against Derby, Conn.-based Griffin Hospital, claiming several hospital employees reused the same insulin injection pens on multiple patients, according to the CTPost.

The former patients suing the hospital, represented by lawyer Ernest Teitell, claim the incident sparked episodes of emotional distress.

Griffin Hospital CEO Patrick Charmel set a letter to 3,149 former patients in 2014 explaining that insulin pens purchased for patients hospitalized between September 2008 and May 2014 had been misused.

While the pen-like injector may be reused provided a new, sterile safety needle is in place, it is possible that the pen's insulin cartridge may be contaminated with blood or skin cells, potentially transmitting infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV if used on another patient, according to the article.

The hospital has offered free testing for former patients. Any patient who tested positive for one of the three bloodborne diseases and did not exhibit symptoms prior to their potential exposure at Griffin would be offered free treatment, according to the article.

While hospital officials recognized five nurses that had been incorrectly administering the medication, the lawsuit claims as many as 11 hospital employees were involved. According to the lawsuit, employees improperly removed the patient identification labels on the pens to reuse them in some cases.

"We brought this case in order to hold Griffin Hospital accountable for the clearly systematic unsafe practices that occurred for a more than five-and-a-half-year period," Mr. Teitell told the CTPost.

Becker's Hospital Review has reached out to Griffin Hospital for a comment.

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