[MOL] OnHealth Hospital Warns Patients of HIV Risk [00997] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] OnHealth Hospital Warns Patients of HIV Risk


  FEBRUARY 24, 2000

Hospital Warns Patients of HIV Risk

      A Washington, D.C., hospital is alerting 300 former patients that they may have been exposed to HIV and other infectious diseases after a hospital employee was accused of siphoning patients' painkillers for himself.
      Georgetown University Medical Center says technician Jeffrey Royal, 40, may have used contaminated needles and syringes taken from infectious waste containers to siphon patients' painkiller drugs and replace their medications with a saline solution. Royal was arrested Feb. 2 and arraigned Tuesday in federal court on a charge of tampering with consumer products, a felony that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Penalties could increase if one of the former patients becomes ill or dies.
      Georgetown officials say they unable to confirm whether patients were exposed to diseases from contaminated syringes and needles. The hospital is setting up free testing, a 24-hour hotline (202) 784-0015 and free counseling, Georgetown officials say. Patients have been notified in the mail and if they do not respond by the end of this week, Georgetown officials say they will be contacted by phone. Royal's attorney says patients' lives were never at risk.

OnHealth Hospital Warns Patients of HIV Risk.url