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Nursing negligence blamed for infection risk to 67 patients

Flu season is coming up as 2015 enters the fall and winter seasons. Like many Illinois residents, people around the country are lining up to get flu shots in the hopes of avoiding the illness. Unfortunately, it appears that nearly 70 employees of an out-of-state company were put at risk of much deadlier diseases attributed to nursing negligence.

The nurse was contracted to provide flu shots to the employees of a pharmaceutical company. It was later discovered that she reused syringes, which put the workers at risk of contracting a blood borne pathogen such as HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, along with other infections. Now, the affected employees will be required to undergo testing for at least these diseases every few months until medical professionals are satisfied that they were not infected. 

At this point, none of the New Jersey employees has exhibited any symptoms, but some of the most deadly diseases on the planet have significant incubation periods. In the meantime, the employees could be passing a disease to their spouses or children without knowing it. It is unclear why the nurse failed to follow proper procedures and standards of care when administering the flu shots. As an added complication, it is believed that the nurse did not even give all employees a full dose of the flu shot, so many of the 67 people may have to get another shot.

Nurses are held to a certain standard of care, and when they fall short, it is the patients who suffer. When an Illinois resident discovers that he or she was injured due to nursing negligence, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice claim against the nurse and any other parties who may bear some responsibility such as doctors, hospitals and/or clinics. If a civil court rules that a serious or fatal injury occurred at the hands of a nurse -- and possibly others -- damages may be awarded to help alleviate the financial burdens of additional medical care, lost wages and other financial losses, along with funeral and burial costs in the case of death.

Source: Fox News, "70 at risk of infection in New Jersey after nurse reused flu shot syringes", Oct. 7, 2015

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