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Officials Urge Mountain State Vascular Clinic Patients to Get Tested

— December 17, 2021

Currently, West Virginia health professionals say that no infections have been confirmed yet.

Health officials have urged patients at Mountain State Vascular Clinic in Beckley, West Virginia to get blood tests to check for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C after a possible exposure scare. 

On November 12, Commissioner West Virginia State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad sent letters to patients stating that the clinic reused single-use syringes during invasive procedures. The Board of Public Health states they are conducting a full investigation to ensure patients safety. 

What Happened?

Director of Mountain State Vascular Dr. Brian Whyte informed West Virginia state officials after he found an employee reusing syringes at the facility. He was conducting a routine check of his facility in late June when he saw an employee reusing a needle and syringe. 

The employee, hired in October of 2020, stated that she reused syringes on a few patients from June 29 to July 1. The employee no longer works at the clinic and Dr. Brian Whyte believes only a handful of patients have been affected. 

Patients Most At-Risk

Patients who visited the Mountain State Vascular clinic from October 27, 2020 to July 7, 2021 should get blood tests immediately according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. If you were a patient at Mountain State Vascular, visit a medical professional immediately or local clinic to test for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. 

The Difference Between Single-Use Vital and Multi-Dose Vitals

A single-use vial is a bottle of liquid medication containing one dose of medication and is approved for use on a single patient for a single injection or procedure. Single-use vitals should be discarded after every use, as harmful bacteria can grow and infect patients. 

A multi-dose vial is a bottle of liquid medication that contains more than one dose of medication and can be used for multiple patients when aseptic technique is followed. Multi-dose vitals should ideally only be used for one patient, but. A new clean needle and clean syringe should be used to access the medication to prevent contamination.

A blurred masked individual with a blue medical glove holds a vial of COVID vaccine.
DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0

The CDC recommends, when possible, that health officials use single-use vitals over multi-dose vitals to reduce the risk of disease transmission. 

Have Any Infections Been Confirmed?

Currently, West Virginia health professionals say that no infections have been confirmed yet. Infections can last for years with no symptoms, so it is important patients get tested if they visited the clinic even if they do not show any symptoms. Dr. Amjad stated that positive results for the results doesn’t directly prove that the infections are linked to Mountain State Vascular Clinic. 

Your Legal Options

Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, as more than 250,000 people each year die from medical errors. If you fall ill and believe it is due to the carelessness or negligent actions of a medical professional, you may be able to recover compensation. 

It is important to reach out to an experienced attorney who has extensive knowledge handling complex medical malpractice lawsuits. If the actions of a health professional or medical facility are below the regular standards of medical care, you may have means to file a lawsuit. 

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