As Published By
ALAN S. RIPKA, ESQUIRE

Are You at Risk for Hepatitis C?

Today’s news and newspapers uncovers Northern Westchester hospital, in Westchester NY, as having potentially exposing 6,000 patients to Hepatitis C. The patients were injected with what they thought was Fentanyl, a painkiller. However, a surgical technician had substituted the drug with saline after injecting herself because of a drug dependency. She put back the very needles she used, which were then used on patients. The surgical technician had Hepatitis C, which infected many of the needles, thus infecting patients that were injected with the same needle. All of these patients may have a lawsuit for medical malpractice or negligence for their personal injuries.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus. It can result in liver cirrhosis and cancer. It is mainly transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs. Symptoms can include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching, and flu-like symptoms. However, most infected people experience no symptoms, and the infection is many times discovered accidentally. Although infection can be treated with medication, only around half of those infected are completely cured.

It is Alan Ripka’s opinion that the hospital and their agents were negligent in allowing this to happen. The hospital should have supervised its employees and been certain that the needles and drugs were counted, monitored, and supervised. By allowing access to these narcotic painkillers, they put the public at risk, especially patients who would be injected with these syringes. Not to mention that the patients who needed the pain killer to relieve their discomfort received nothing more than the saline solution that had been substituted by the drug-addicted surgical technician. The hospital and their staff should have seen that the patients were getting no relief from their pain and investigated why. They would have then determined with simple lab tests that the syringes or needles didn’t contain the painkiller, but instead, the saline solution, and this would have triggered an investigation that would have prevented this from occurring. Now, as a result of this medical malpractice, many innocent people will live with Hepatitis C.

If you, a friend or loved one was at or treated at Northern Westchester Hospital between October 8, 2007 and February 28, 2008, and believe you may have been exposed, please contact our law office. Alan Ripka and his professional team of lawyers can evaluate your situation and determine the next steps to gain justice for you and your family. Alan Ripka has fought against large companies in other matters and will fight for you if we believe you have a potential case for medical malpractice, products liability, personal injury, and is prepared to go to court and have a trial if necessary. Please call or contact Alan Ripka.

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