This hospital employee, struggling with addiction, used syringes full of pain medication and filled them water or saline before injecting patients with the contaminated syringes.
After weeks of investigation, New Hampshire public health officials suspect a drug-abusing hospital employee is responsible for spreading Hepatitis C to patients at Exeter Hospital. According to Boston.com, the patient infected at least 20 people with the virus.
This hospital employee took sterile syringes, filled with drugs intended for patients. These syringes were used by the hospital worker, and then refilled with water or saline. The syringes were then used on patients. Not only did the syringes not contain the pain medication they needed, these syringes were infected with Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is a chronic liver condition, so there is no cure.
So far, 20 people have tested positive for the same strain of the virus, including the suspected employee.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. There have been a smattering of episodes across the country, and even across the globe, highlighting how the combination of privileged access and desperation can turn one health care worker's personal addiction into a disease outbreak.
If you know someone in the health care industry struggling with addiction, please click here for more information.