Live

Watch CBSN Live

Surgery center alerts 3,778 patients about possible exposure to infections

Thousands of patients urged to get blood tests

Thousands of people who were treated at an outpatient surgery center in northern New Jersey are being urged to get their blood tested after a state investigation found unsanitary conditions at the facility. The HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook is alerting 3,778 patients that they may have been exposed to infections, CBS New York reported.

The warning covers people who had procedures there between January and September 7, 2018.

In a letter to patients, the center said "during this time period, lapses in infection control in sterilization/cleaning instruments and the injection of medications may have exposed patients to bloodborne pathogens."

A state investigation found staff members were not following proper procedures. Officials shut down the facility from September 7 through September 28. It reopened after that.

The surgery center said it has improved its infection control and medication dispensing procedures, hired new staff and trained them on sterile processing, and has cleaned and repaired all instruments.

The center said the risk of infection is low, but health officials still want people to get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

screen-shot-2018-12-25-at-4-52-16-pm.png
The HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Google Maps

"It is important to note that to date, there have not been reports of any infections or illness related to the investigation. However, HealthPlus and the New Jersey Department of Health are recommending that those patients get tested as soon as possible," HealthPlus Surgery Center Administrator Betty McCabe said in a statement. "We recognize that this may be upsetting to our patients, and we are taking this matter very seriously and taking steps to assist them during this process."

Patients will be able to schedule a blood test at no charge to them, paid for by HealthPlus.

In New Jersey:

  • Call 1-888-507-0578 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m.-9 p.m. to schedule a test.
  • Patients can visit Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus or LabCorp for testing free of charge. 
  • Bring the letter you received from the center with you.

In New York:

  • Testing can be conducted at any LabCorp location. To find a location near you, click here.
  • Call 1-888-507-0578 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m.-9 p.m. to schedule a test.
  • Bring the letter you received, along with the LabCorp enclosure you received, and a photo ID.