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A malfunction has many worried about blood borne diseases

READ MORE: A malfunction has many worried about blood borne diseases
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A letter was sent out as a warning to 283 patients from the New Hanover Community Health Care Center, telling them there could be a chance they may have been exposed to a virus. This comes after an employee discovered a malfunction in a device used for testing diabetes patients. There is a chance more than one patient may have been stuck with the same lancet. "The day we found out that the machine did not work properly, we immediately took it out of service," explained New Hanover Community Health Center CEO Alfred Thomas. Cape Fear Community College nursing director, Brenda Holland said exposure to the same needle could mean patients may have contracted a blood borne illness. "Hepatitis C, D, HIV those microorganisms could potentially be introduced into another person who did not already have that disease." Anyone whose blood was tested with the device from January 1st to June 3rd is being asked to come in to the center for re-testing, free of charge. "There safety and their health is our primary concern, and we want to do everything to ensure that takes place,” said Thomas. The device was pulled out of service in June, along with similar ones that were in use. A number of patients have already been re-tested for wrongful exposure; so far no one has tested positive.

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New Hanover Community Health Center

I am a patient at the Health Center and actually the Center should be congratulated for stepping up in this instance. They are taking a pro active approach, even though the chances of infection are small. After much research I have discovered that the manufacturer of the faulty devise should be admonished and made to pay for all the costs involved. They knew of the problem and that the device was not recommended for clinical use, but never issued any precautionary warnings. The Health Center is taking the higher road on this issue. Anyone that had the diabetes finger stick should be tested and discuss ONLY with the Dr. or RN about the consequences. Too much misinformation is being circulated from patient to patient and other employees at the center. While the center is NOT A FREE CLINIC, they do cater to the financially strapped population. Their sliding fee scale is wonderful. People should pay their minimal bills at each visit to keep the Center open for Medical and Dental services in this day and age. Their approach to this potentially devistating incident is admirable. I am proud to be a New Hanover Community Health Center patient.