News that a surgical technician who once worked at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco was arrested in Colorado on charges of potentially spreading Hepititis C to patients at a center there has readers talking about whether people here are at risk and what could be done to prevent health care workers from spreading communicable diseases. Officials at Northern Westchester Hospital said that the woman was addicted to painkillers and would take patients’ syringes of fentanyl, inject herself and then put the used needle back. (Read the whole story.)
One reader said:
What a betrayal of patients — extremely disturbing, frightening and disheartening. Hope every former patient involved in this is OK.
Another readers was worried on a personal level:
My mom and my husband both had surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital during this time. Thanks for the double dose of stress.
Many readers were concerned about hiring practices and how employees are screened to prevent problems like this. One reader asked:
I would like to know how a hospital hires someone like that. Don’t they check her previous employment history? And you would think she would have to take a drug test.
A nurse replied:
(Health care facilities) should make drug testing standard and random! Patients deserve quality care and they trust us to provide that care, I can’t even begin to tell you how devastating Hep C can be. My heart goes out to those infected.