Woman tests positive for hep B after sterilization breach at New Jersey clinic

A New Jersey woman has tested positive for hepatitis B after undergoing surgery at a healthcare facility where infection control lapses potentially exposed more than 3,700 patients to HIV and hepatitis, reports Reuters.

The 58-year-old patient, whose identity was not released, had shoulder surgery at Saddle Brook, N.J.-based HealthPlus Surgery Center last year.

The facility closed Sept. 7, 2018, after health officials identified issues with sterilization processes and sanitation requirements. The health department recommended 3,778 patients who visited HealthPlus during the first nine months of 2018 get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The woman learned she tested positive for hepatitis B earlier this week, Marc Held, one of her attorneys, told Reuters Jan. 3. She is a plaintiff in a class-action complaint filed against HealthPlus Dec. 31.

The state health department will conduct a comprehensive analysis to determine whether positive test results reflect a pre-existing condition, according to Mark Manigan, HealthPlus' attorney.

"To our knowledge, no infection has been linked to exposure at HealthPlus and definitive results may be weeks or months away," he told Reuters.

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