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U.S. News

New York: Another Doc Reused Syringes

January 16, 2008

On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Health announced that a Manhasset physician reused syringes while administering influenza vaccine to patients and that the patients are being notified.

A complaint filed with the Nassau County Department of Health prompted a state investigation of Dr. E. Jacob Simhaee, who is cooperating fully. The state composed a letter to 36 of the obstetrician-gynecologist's patients who received the vaccine between September and December 2007. In a letter signed by Simhaee, those patients are being advised to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, and to get another flu vaccine. The doctor is contacting the patients by phone and letter, said Claudia Hutton, a state department of health spokesperson.

This is the second case in recent months involving a state investigation of a doctor who improperly administered injections. The previous case concerned Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, a Dix Hills anesthesiologist who contaminated multi-dose drug vials by using a syringe multiple times on a single patient. The state did not alert those patients for three years, in contrast to its quick release of information in this case.

In the new case, the state determined Simhaee reused a single syringe, which contained six vaccine doses, on multiple patients.

The repeat of a doctor improperly giving patients injections suggests legislation is needed, said state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City). "We're going to have to look into the prohibition of multi-use vials or limiting the use of syringes to single-use syringes," he said.

Back to other news for January 2008

Adapted from:
Newsday (Melville)
1.16.2008; Ridgely Ochs

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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