When a patient in Texas undergoes a surgical procedure, they expect that sterile instruments will be used on them and that any medical objects used will not cause them further harm. However, thousands of out-of-state patients are likely questioning whether their hospital did enough to ensure their safety after a surgical technician was arrested. In what could ultimately lead to accusations of hospital negligence, the employee is suspected of stealing syringes of drugs and swapping needles. He has recently tested positive for HIV.
The 28-year-old man is accused of illegally taking a syringe of a narcotic from the hospital. Police say that he then replaced the syringe with one that contained none of the drug. He has since been arrested and released following a not guilty plea.
Unfortunately, it is believed that he may have swapped needles used to inject the drug with ones used in operations, potentially placing patients at risk. While the former employee tested negative for hepatitis B and C, he tested positive for HIV. The hospital says that over 2,500 former hospital patients have been tested and were negative for all three; however, an additional 1,000 people require additional or initial testing. The man also worked at four other hospitals before his arrest. Patients at those hospitals have also been advised to be tested.
Because there is no cure for HIV, anyone infected as a result of this man's alleged actions likely faces a lifetime of costly medical treatment. If an infection occurred as a result of hospital negligence, these patients have the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Many victims of such negligence in Texas have followed this course of action, sometimes resulting in an award of damages. Most importantly, civil lawsuits often prompt medical care facilities to reevaluate their procedures to ensure patients are safe at all times. Consultation service from Maloney Law is free. Contact us today to get started.
Source: USA Today, "Surgical tech caught switching syringes has HIV", Jeremy Jojola, June 1, 2016