Patients sue Salem Hospital for possible hepatitis and HIV exposure

Patients of Salem Hospital filed a class action lawsuit on Thursday after they were possibly exposed to hepatitis and HIV during routine care.

The hospital said this week that nearly 450 patients were potentially exposed to the infectious diseases over a period of two years. In a statement, the hospital said it learned "earlier this year" endoscopy patients received intravenous medication "in a manner not consistent with our best practice."

Salem Hospital notified all patients who might have been impacted, according to the statement, and corrected its intravenous protocol. The hospital is providing free screening for Hepatitis B, C and HIV for patients affected.

So far, the hospital said, "There is no evidence to date of any infections resulting from this incident."

The patients' lawsuit accuses Salem Hospital, and its parent company Mass General Brigham, of negligence.

In the suit, the plaintiffs wrote the hospital's actions caused the patients "to suffer permanent injuries, including additional testing and extreme anxiety and emotional distress and decreased quality of life as a result of being exposed or potentially being exposed to an infection and, potentially, suffering a serious infection."

The lawsuit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court.


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