Olean General Hospital: Insulin Pens May Have Been Reused

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Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital announced that insulin pens may have been reused for some patients between November 2009 and Jan. 16, 2013.

The hospital conducted an internal review following Buffalo (N.Y.) VA Medical Center's notice to Congress that insulin pens were reused at its facility, putting more than 700 patients at risk for infection. According to the news release, interviews with nursing staff at Olean General revealed the possibility that insulin pens were reused for some patients.


The hospital has not identified a patient who received an insulin injection from a reused pen and there is no documentation of the transmission of bloodborne infections related to the insulin pens, according to the news release. In addition, the hospital reported that only insulin pens, not the needles, may have been reused, making the likelihood of infection very small.

However, as a precautionary measure the hospital is mailing letters to 1,915 patients hospitalized at Olean General since November 2009 who received insulin pen injections at the hospital. The hospital is recommending patients get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV and that they get retested for HIV three months after their last insulin pen injection and retested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C six months after their last insulin pen injection at the hospital. Olean General also removed reusable insulin pens from the facility.

More Articles on Infection Control:

Buffalo VA Medical Center Reports Insulin Pens Were Reused
Report: Neonatal ICUs Cut CLABSI Rate by More Than Half in 11 Months

National CLABSI Project Reduced ICU Infection Rate 41%

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