The Royal Gazette (Bermuda) (10.03.12)
Some Bermudians may have been infected with Hepatitis C while patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, thus, the US facility has asked the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) to assist in collecting blood to forward to them for testing. The Baltimore, Md., facility is investigating whether any hospital patients were exposed to hepatitis C while a cardiac catheterization technician, who has since been implicated in an outbreak of the viral infection in a New Hampshire hospital, was working there.
The technician worked at Johns Hopkins for two 13-week periods from July 10, 2009 to January 9, 2010. He was not an employee of the Baltimore hospital but worked for an agency that placed him there. The issue centers around contaminated syringes that hospital personnel later used on patients at the hospital.
A total of 1,567 Johns Hopkins patients have been sent letters notifying them of the situation and offering them free testing. Kim Hoppe, associate director of Communications and Public Affairs for John Hopkins Children’s Center, could not say how many of the letters were sent to Bermudians, but at least one Bermudian received a letter and went for testing.
Any individual who had a cardiac catheterization at the Johns Hopkins Hospital between July 10, 2009 and January 9, 2010, should call the toll-free number 1-855-546-3785. Patients are being told the results of their tests and counseling is being arranged for any with the hepatitis C infection. Johns Hopkins is one of several hospitals possibly affected and is offering free testing.