More Tests Sites Set Up in Hep C Outbreak
The move was made after samples collected at Exeter Hospital were botched.
State health officials today announced more test sites have been set up for hundreds of Exeter Hospital patients who may have been exposed to a hepatitis C outbreak.
The sites are at:
- 55 High St., Suite 104, Hampton
- 26 Manchester Sq, Portsmouth
Starting tomorrow, the sites will be open Mon.-Thur 8 a.m.-4 p.m. They are closed 1-1:30 p.m. each of those days.
Testing is also being held at Exeter Hospital. The hospital is paying the cost of the testing, state health officials said.
The additional test sites were set up after 24 samples were somehow left untouched and became no good – requiring those patients to get retested. Some of those patients blamed Exeter Hospital for the mishap and said they didn't want to go back to there because they lost trust. Exeter Hospital officials said they are looking into why the samples became expired.
So far, 20 people have been infected with hepatitis C – a potentially deadly liver disease. Officials say they expect that total to rise as test results come back.
Nearly 1,000 patients who were treated at the cath lab were possibly exposed to the outbreak. Most of those patients have been tested for hepatitis C. Exeter Hospital said about 120 more people still need to be tested.
“Exeter Hospital’s Call Center staff and employees from other areas of the hospital have done their best to schedule screenings as quickly as possible and help support patients throughout this process,” said Claudette Lavigne, manager of Exeter Hospital’s call center, in a statement. “Our staff and the hospital take tremendous pride in supporting and assisting our patients each day.
"We recognize the stress this has had on our patients and we are
working as quickly as possible to complete the outreach and testing process.”
Anyone treated at the cath lab or its recovery room on or after
Oct. 1, 2010 through May 25, 2012 is being asked to be tested for
For questions and information about hepatitis C visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/hepatitisc/index.htm or www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/index.htm or call DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.
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