Plastic Surgery Center Accused of Reusing Syringes
Spokane (Wash.) center disputes Heath Department's claim.
Published: October 3, 2013
The chief physician at a Spokane, Wash., surgery center says it's all just a big misunderstanding, but the state's Health Department isn't buying it: It's advising 400 former patients of the Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Center to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C, according to a report in the (Washington State) Spokesman-Review.
The department says between 2006 and April 2013, the center's surgical technologist was violating Centers for Disease Control standards by reusing syringes and possibly reusing medicine from vials intended to be used only once. The technologist did, however, use new hypodermic needles for each injection, a department spokesperson says, meaning the risk to patients was low.
Jeffrey W. Karp, MD, the center's chief physician, insists that the department misunderstood the employee and that no patient was ever exposed to a previously used syringe. A center spokesman accused the department of repeatedly making false claims about its practices.
The center provided the department with a list of potentially affected patients, but refused to notify them, so the department is notifying them instead.
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