Pasco Nurse Accused Of Exposing Inmates to HIV
No one deserves this. A Pasco Nurse has exposed inmates to HIV and more, according to attorneys from 5 Pasco inmates. Lawyers for the inmates have spoken out, saying that there have been multiple incidents of a nurse regularly reusing syringes while treating diabetic inmates according to their clients.
“This is an absolute nightmare that shocks the conscience,” said Attorney Kevin Conway, who is representing five inmates. “I can’t even fathom this occurring. This is truly a practice that is avoided like the plague by IV drug users: dirty needles, dirty vials every single day. It’s unbelievable.”
Speaking at a virtual press conference, the attorneys reported that a named nurse would inject an inmate with insulin and then, if they needed more, would reuse the same syringe into a multi-use bottle. Meaning that this practice could have happened multiple times and affected the next person getting insulin. One of the patients accepting this treatment has tested positive for HIV.
There is a lawsuit against the medical staffing company Wellpath after the incident notes that they failed to notify inmates who may have been exposed. In addition, the company only tested some of the potential victims, not all. There are potentially more victims as the nurse in question worked there for a year, and a few inmates have been released since then.
Amanda Hunter of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:
“The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is aware of this complaint and immediately began working with Wellpath, the third-party medical provider for detention center inmates, to investigate this matter. Wellpath employees, including the nurse involved in the alleged incident, are not employees of the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. We are unable to provide specific details on this matter as it involves confidential medical information and pending litigation. It is our understanding that Wellpath took immediate corrective action upon being notified of a possible issue with insulin dispensation, and CDC exposure guidelines were followed as safety precautions. At this point, no adverse reactions have been reported by any affected individuals. We are taking the reported complaint very seriously, and will continue to work with Wellpath regarding investigation of this matter and steps to ensure a situation like this does not happen in the future.”
Currently, the county and sheriff’s departments are not considered defendants at this time. [Source Fox 13]