NH AG investigates hepatitis C cases, suit filed
EXETER, N.H. (WHDH) -- The New Hampshire attorney general's office is investigating the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab, and eight of the 20 infected patients are suing.
Hundreds of patients who visited Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab between October 2010 and May 2012 are being told they'll have to be tested for hepatitis C -- a virus that can lead to chronic health issues.
7News spoke to one woman who says her mother was infected.
“She’s very scared and worried and unsure of what to do,” the woman said.
After getting positive test results for hepatitis C, eight patients are filing lawsuits against the hospital. Michael Rainboth represents a 61-year- old Newmarket woman.
“She's now in a hospital in Massachusetts being treated for an infection she developed after the catheterization procedure was done. And so she’s quite ill and quite devastated by this,” Rainboth said.
Nineteen patients and one staff member have confirmed cases, according to public health officials who say the patients were likely infected when someone used their needle to inject medication before injecting them.
The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is investigating whether any criminal laws were broken. The hospital has no comment on the investigations or the lawsuit but those who believe they were infected want the hospital's help.
“This was done to unsuspecting patients who were supposed to be in a safe place and they weren't,” said the woman whose mother was infected.
People with concerns about hepatitis C can meet with public health officials at Exeter High School Friday night.