3 patients of surgery center contracted hepatitis, lawyer says
SADDLE BROOK — Two former patients of the HealthPlus Surgery Center report they have tested positive for hepatitis B while a third patient tested positive for hepatitis A.
The state closed HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook right after Christmas and ordered them to inform 3,700 patients who had been treated at the center from January to Sept. 7 that they may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis.
The letter encouraged the patients to seek testing for HIV, the incurable virus that causes AIDS, and hepatitis B and C, which can destroy the liver, "out of an abundance of caution" as a result of "lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications." The center says it is paying for the tests.
Sanford Rubenstein, lawyer representing David Kinlock, of Newark, and an unidentified 37-year-old man from the Bronx, told NorthJersey.com that the results came back after they were tested.
Rubenstien did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.
State Department of Health spokeswoman Donna Leusner said the agency would not confirm the results as they don't determine the source of the infection.
"As a result, the NJ Department of Health will not release (or confirm) information related to patient results. When the outbreak investigation is complete, which takes weeks to months, if patient confidentiality can be maintained, the NJ Department of Health may release an overall summary related to the total number of positive results identified from the testing event," she said. "This summary would contain information as to whether our investigation determined positive results were related to the infection control breach, unrelated to the infection control breaches, or impossible to determine."