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'It's Scary': Patient Reacts To Allina Nurse Practitioner's Alleged Reuse Of Syringes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Twin Cities woman has come forward revealing she was injected by an Allina nurse practitioner who allegedly use the same syringe on multiple patients.

Allina Health said the nurse practitioner worked at a dermatology clinic at Allina Health's Bandana Square clinic in St. Paul. More than 160 patients may have been impacted since October.

Liz Lightfoot was one of those patients, and she's now waiting to get tested for HIV.

"It's scary," she said.

Lightfoot regularly does research in her day job as a college professor. So when Allina called her this week to tell her she may have been injected with a syringe used on other patients, she spent hours looking up the risk of infection.

"As far as I can tell, the risk ranges from 3 percent contamination to all the way up to 20 percent," she said. "That's not negligible -- that's a pretty high risk."

Lightfoot was injected with a numbing medication at an appointment in November to remove a suspicious mole as a preventative measure. She'd been seeing the accused nurse practitioner for more than a decade, including during a past skin cancer scare.

"I really liked her, and it was shocking to think that she would do this," Lightfoot said.

Allina has said she used a new needle for each patient, but not a new syringe in each case.

They released a statement on the matter, saying, in part: "We believe the risk of infection to these patients is very low."

"All Allina has said is 'Sorry,' and I think, 'Really?'" Lightfoot said. "It's not good enough. They said they'd send me something in the mail. I haven't received anything yet."

Lightfoot is going in for testing Monday for blood borne infections. The nurse practitioner responsible is no longer working at Allina.

"In 2018 I expect my medical providers to be following the standards that were established 50 years ago," Lightfoot said.

St. Paul Allina will be contacting 161 patients whom the nurse practitioner injected. They will need to be tested if they were exposed to any disease, and Allina said they'll cover the cost of testing.

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