A VA spokeswoman says that the hospital “immediately changed its procedures,” when the mistake was discovered.
According to the Veterans Administration the accidental reuse of insulin pens at the Buffalo VA Medical Center may have exposed more than 700 patients to HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. Newser reports that during a routine pharmacy inspection on November 1, 2012, staff “discovered that in some cases, insulin pens were not labeled for individual patients.” A spokeswoman for the VA said,
Although the pen needles were always changed, an insulin pen may have been used on more than one patient.
The possible exposure may have happened any time between October, 19, 2010 and November, 2012. Although the VA’s undersecretary for health stated there is a “very, very low chance of passing infection,” it is still not out of the realm of possibility, therefore they will be testing everyone who may have been exposed. The VA is currently offering free blood tests to rule out any potential infections.