Salem Hospital recently revealed a troubling issue. Approximately 450 patients who received endoscopic procedures at their facility may have been inadvertently exposed to serious infectious diseases including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV over the past two years.
Located roughly 20 miles from Boston, this incident is believed to be linked to the administration of IV medications that was not done in accordance with best practices.
The hospital acted quickly when they identified the issue, enacting corrective measures and reviews by their quality and infection control teams.
However, no further details regarding the exposure or what corrections were made are available at this time.
“Salem Hospital has notified all potentially impacted patients, set up a clinician-staffed hotline to answer questions, and we are providing them with free screening and any necessary support,” the statement read. “There is no evidence to date of any infections resulting from this incident.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted an onsite investigation at Salem Hospital and worked in conjunction with the hospital’s infection control team to effectively manage the situation.
“DPH advised the hospital to notify all impacted patients in writing about the potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens and to offer free-of-charge follow-up care, including testing,” the department said.
Mass Brigham, the owner of Salem Hospital, would like to extend an apology to those impacted by this situation and re-affirm their commitment to patient safety and high-quality healthcare.
“The safety of our patients is our highest priority, and we have undertaken multiple corrective actions in response to this event,” the statement from Mass Brigham read. “We sincerely apologize to those who have been impacted, and we remain committed to delivering high-quality, compassionate health care to our community.”