In what the state health department is calling an "abundance of caution," a surgery center in Saddle Brook is urging thousands of people who underwent procedures at the facility between January and Sept. 7 to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.
State health officials said more than 3,000 patients at HealthPlus Surgery Center may have been exposed to the bloodborne infections due to "deficiencies in infection control" involving the cleaning of instruments and injection of medications, ABC7 reports, citing the center's surgery administrator Betty McCabe.
The following letter was sent to patients:
Knowing if you have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV is important because there are medicines, treatments, and other things that people with these infections can do to protect their health. You can be infected with these diseases and not feel sick at all. It is important that you get tested, even if you do not remember feeling sick. The tests are a simple blood test. All of us at HealthPlus understand this may be upsetting. We want to assure you that we will assist you during this process, including paying for all medical costs associated with testing. We recommend that you get tested as soon as possible.
The center was closed by the New Jersey Health Department from Sept. 7 through 28. No illnesses have been reported and the risk of infection is low, the Department of Health said.
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