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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

LAS VEGAS: Vegas Hospital Fell Short on TB Safeguards


ABC News (11.04.2013)

According to an ABC News report, at least 26 people have tested positive for TB after an ill mother visited one of her twin infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Summerlin Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas last summer, according to state investigators. Most of the results were of the non-contagious type of the disease. The mother and one of the twins have since died of TB. The other twin, who died prior to these deaths, was not tested for TB. Health officials began testing hundreds of babies and family members who spent time at the hospital. According to a report from the Nevada Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance, the hospital did not take proper precautions after a doctor spoke “at length” with the parents while at the baby’s bedside on May 31. The mother had a high fever and did not know why she was ill. The hospital deters sick parents from visiting their children or requests that they wear a mask and gown, a nurse stated several months later. However, logs from that day do not disclose whether the mother wore the protective garments during her May 31 visit. After the woman died, doctors discovered she had TB. The sick infant died of the disease in August. The other twin preceded the mother’s death but the hospital never tested for TB. In October, health officials extended the testing to visitors and other NICU patients. The hospital has not released any data to date, but authorities said this group is unlikely to have contracted TB. "People are still being tested at this point," said Stephanie Bethel, spokesperson for the Southern Nevada Health District. "Because TB testing sometimes takes multiple steps, we are not releasing numbers until everything is finalized and we can ensure the information is accurate and complete." The hospital's parent company, Valley Health System, told a local news organization that it hand-delivered a plan of corrections last week, but would not comment further


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Information in this article was accurate in November 7, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.