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Prisoners exposed to disease as a result of nurse's mistake

Every person should be able to trust that medical care being provided to them is done in a professional, expert and safe way. Residents in Franklin, Ohio, would demand this type of medical treatment. Even those in prison should be able to trust health care professionals providing medication or treatment.

Two dozen prisoners in another state could be victims of misplaced trust after a nursing mistake caused them to be exposed to dangerous blood-borne pathogens. The incident, which could lead to serious injury for the prisoners, occurred as a nurse was administering insulin shots to a number of inmates. The nurse worked for a company that was contracted to provide health care services to prisoners.

According to reports, the nurse contaminated the vial of insulin during her work. Details about this incident have not been released, but it sounds similar to an incident that occurred in 2012 at the same prison. During the 2012 incident, a nurse contaminated a vial of insulin with a needle that had been used on a man who had Hepatitis.

According to reports, 24 men may have been impacted by the most recent incident. The company that manages health care for the prison stated that the nurse violated protocol, which led to the error. The nurse has been put on suspension as the incident is investigated. The agency is also providing treatment to the men who may have been exposed to some sort of pathogen.

When medication errors or contamination occurs, individuals have a right to seek compensation. Compensation in such a case could include expenses to cover medical treatment related to the error, as well as money for lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Arizona inmates may have been exposed to pathogens" Jacques Billeaud, Jan. 08, 2014

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