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Hepatitis C Outbreak Opens Hospital To Legal Action

A hospital in New Hampshire is responsible for an outbreak of Hepatitis C.

July 6, 2012– Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire will face a number of lawsuits due to a hepatitis C outbreak. The outbreak was linked to the hospital’s lab for cardiac catheterization. The Department of Health for New Hampshire announced earlier this week that 27 people thus far had contracted the condition. Another 12 people also tested positive for the disease, but the strain was not the same one tied to the one at the hospital.

A local newspaper reported that lawsuits have been filed against the hospital by 59 patients. Forty-seven of the patients joined a class action suit, while 12 decided to sue individually. Lawsuits were first filed back in May, and state health officials in June said the hepatitis C outbreak was probably the result of drug diversion by one of the employees at the hospital.

Drug diversion is the misuse of prescription medication for purposes that are non-medicinal. The problem has become huge amongst those who work in health care. Health care workers that partake in drug diversion, use narcotics prescribed for a patient and then pass on conditions or diseases through using contaminated syringes. Health officials in New Hampshire are still trying to determine if the hospital employee was the actual source of the hepatitis C outbreak at the hospital.

Hepatitis C can cause inflammation of the liver and lead to a chronic infection.

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