Healthcare Worker's Oversight Puts Over 600 Students At Risk For HIV

Employee made the same mistake for eight years

FacebookUniversity of Derby Vice Chancellor John Coyne: circumstances are "deeply regrettable."

Well, this is pretty bad. The U.K.'s University of Derby is reaching out to over 600 students who may have been put at risk of HIV and hepatitis, advising them to screen for the infections immediately. The reason? A healthcare worker who failed to change the syringe barrel during routine blood tests and vaccinations.

There's being bad at your job, and then...well...then there's this.

In a classic example of British understatement, John Coyne, vice chancellor of the University of Derby, described the circumstances as "deeply regrettable."

The mistake didn't just happen once or twice. An investigation carried out by NHS England determined that the oversight occurred over eight years, putting 606 students at risk between September 2005 and October 2013.

"This investigation has taken place as it is understood that, whilst syringe needles were always changed between patients, the syringe barrels to which the needles attach were being reused in the administration of vaccines," Dr. Doug Black, an NHS medical director, told Daily Mail. "This also occurred during blood taking, where a single use holder for a blood collection tube was reused but needles changed."

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Black said that the risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV as a result of the errors was "extremely low," but that's bound to be little comfort to the students waiting to see the results of their blood work.

The worker, who was unnamed, has been suspended pending the investigation, while the school has set up a help line and invited students to attend screenings. All in all, it's a sobering reminder of the human capacity for error--not that that's a newsflash, exactly. It's just that in some jobs, when you make a mistake, you lose the company some money or maybe mess up your reputation. In others, you make a mistake, and 600 people have to go see a doctor to make sure they're not dying.

In other news, you want to know what doesn't make mistakes? ROBOTS.

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PATRICE

Oh aol please get your pictures right one doesn't use these injectable syringes for blood draws. This is just a tacky media ploy to make people paranoid. Sloppy work.. You fail.

April 30 2014 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PATRICE

Change syringe barrels? Are you kidding me? I thought those were all disposable by now?

April 30 2014 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi

God have mercy.

April 30 2014 at 7:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jktkw

what did they charge her with?

April 30 2014 at 6:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denise

OMG

April 30 2014 at 6:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ldvger2

have any of you actually read and understood this article??? They did not re-use the needles, the needles were single use items. What they did was re-use the syringe barrels after changing needles. The entire syringe needed to be discarded, as blood had been withdrawn from the patient into the barrel of the syringe. And, this has zero to do with thier health care system...thier health care system works better than USA's does by all accepted worldwide measurements standards. This is a situation of ONE health care worker screwed up big time, it's not an indictator of the entire system. It was ONE health care worker...

April 30 2014 at 5:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
AltamonteSprings

A mistake is something you don't do on purpose, this irresponsible, grossely negligent, completely careless and void of a concern for human life endangered the lives of 606 people. They should be put in prison for life at the very least.
God help us please.

April 30 2014 at 4:52 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Joe & Dee

They saved a lot of money. Not having to buy new needles

April 30 2014 at 4:45 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joe & Dee's comment
hellyon3too

They used new needles. They reused the syringe barrels, not the needles.

April 30 2014 at 7:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

This is not an 'oversight' it is negligence.

April 30 2014 at 3:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frank's comment
Denise

Or sheer laziness.

April 30 2014 at 6:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
danjimiez

now any needle that comes near me i will ask if its new and i want to see them open it from its little paper so i know its fresh

April 30 2014 at 2:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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