5 North Carolina Nursing Home Patients Die From Dirty Needles

Posted on Nov 22, 2010
A fatal Hepatitis B outbreak in a North Carolina nursing home has lead to five resident deaths and a serious investigation regarding how this infection spread between patients. So far, investigators have confirmed that eight residents were infected during the outbreak.

According to the News-Observer, the Glen Care of Mount Olive Assisted Living Center in Mount Olive, North Carolina, was the location of the Hep B outbreak and is now the center of an ongoing investigation into how such a tragedy could have taken place. While the owner of the NC nursing home believes that the infection spread because staff members were using the same diabetes blood testing pen on multiple patients, the staff says that such a mistake would have been impossible.

The vice president of the Mount Olive nursing home thinks that the outbreak was the result of activity outside of the property, stating that residents had the freedom to leave the facility and have sex, do illegal drunks, and drink while not in their care. However, investigators have all but confirmed the outbreak was caused by glucose testing devices used by nurses at Glen Care. While one staff member admits reusing needles, the facility has not yet admitted responsibility.

In the wake of the tragic outbreak, all of the patients at Glen Care are being tested for the disease and registered nurses are at the facility to ensure that needles and other medical instruments are not shared among residents. It is still unclear where the Hepatitis B infection originated, though investigators believe that the original patients was since died or been released from the facility.

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