Patients sue Oklahoma hospital over potential exposure to HIV, hepatitis

Two patients are suing Tahlequah, Okla.-based W.W. Hastings Hospital, claiming the hospital failed to adequately warn them about a potential exposure to HIV and hepatitis, reports the Tahlequah Daily Press.

In 2018, the hospital discovered that a former nurse had been reusing IV needles, potentially exposing more than 180 patients to infectious diseases.

The suit alleges the hospital failed to notify the plaintiffs of their exposure risk in a timely manner. One plaintiff alleged she had to reach out to the hospital after learning about the exposure risk from other patients.

The Cherokee Nation, which operates Hastings Hospital, said it is reviewing the lawsuit.

The tribe "remain[s] committed to providing quality healthcare for our tribal citizens and all our health service patients," the Cherokee Nation said in a statement to Tahlequah Daily Press. "Cherokee Nation Health Services made policy revisions that were met and approved by [CMS] in 2018, including additional training and monitoring and reporting procedures."

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