Posted on Jun 25, 2014

According to a hospital spokesman, the five nurses linked to misuse of insulin pens at a hospital in Connecticut will not be terminated or suspended. 

As a result of the medical error, the hospital has tested almost 1,000 patients for HIV and hepatitis and hopes to test another 2,000.

Hospital officials announced that pieces of a small number of insulin pens, primarily used to treat diabetes, had been used on more than one patient leading to possible contamination.

The misuse happened between 2008 and May 2014. In 2008 the hospital started using the pens and on the 14th of May, the hospital discontinued the use of them.

The hospital sent letters to the 3,148 patients on whom the pens had been used, urging them to be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

When the news broke in May, hospital officials said that had identified the five nurses who either misused the pens or witnessed the misuse.

The hospital President and CEO, said that the nurses would be disciplined, but he implied that the punishment wouldn’t be severe.

On Friday June 20th, the hospital spokesman confirmed that major action would not be taken against the nurses. He said that the decision was made after an investigation by the hospital which showed the nursed hadn’t misused the equipment intentionally.

One of the reasons a severe punishment was avoided, was because nurses came forward about the misuse themselves.

According to the hospital spokesman, if someone self-reports a problem and they receive a severe punishment, it will deter others from self-reporting.

The hospital claims to have counseled all the involved nurses, however they couldn’t say if any other action had been taken.

Apparently, the real cause of the problem was a lack of training about the insulin pens and nurses and other hospital staff are being “re-educated” about the sake use of hospital equipment.

At least one patient advocate believes that the hospital made the right move in not severely punishing the nurses.


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Gerry Oginski
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