Several news outlets are reporting that an elderly diabetes patient may have been exposed to HIV after a New Hampshire hospital made an error. The error was injecting him with an insulin pen that had already been used on an HIV-positive patient. The hospital has maintained that while the pen was the same, the needle in the pen had been changed.
“The same insulin pen that was used on an HIV-positive patient was used to inject Eugene, but with a different needle,” medical records state.
The patient, 85 year-old Eugene Devoyd, had gone to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center for an emergency related to his diabetes and other ailments. After doctors informed Devoyd of the mistake, he was placed on antiviral medication in order to prevent an HIV infection.
In a statement released after the incident, the hospital said, “Southern New Hampshire Medical Center has a long-standing record of delivering high quality, safe patient care, as demonstrated by our publicly reported measures. What sets apart high-performing organizations is our commitment to reporting errors, analyzing the cause of the errors, and then implementing corrective action to prevent those errors from recurring. We embrace this philosophy, thereby aspiring to continuously improving our quality and safety outcomes.”
While the hospital has maintained that the needle used had been changed, there is some confusion with Mr. Devoyd. According to his son, Chris Devoyd, there have been several versions of the story told to his father. “He said they used the same needle. Then he gets a phone call, walks away, and then he comes back and says no, they changed the needle,” said Chris Devoyd.
Chris Devoyd further claims that when he requested his father’s medical records, he did not receive them. He, instead, received the medical records of another patient. After some time, they were finally sent the correct medical records.
Being exposed to HIV can be a very frightening situation. The first step is to seek medical attention. After the right amount of time, HIV testing can help you determine if you have been exposed. Medical treatments exist that can help prevent an HIV infection, if caught early enough. If you are diagnosed with an HIV infection, there are many treatments to help make symptoms manageable. Many people lead long and healthy lives with HIV.