October 6, 2009 - Nurse Charged with Exposing Patients to HIV

A nurse allegedly has acknowledged she reused medical supplies that may have exposed 1,851 people to HIV, Broward County, Fla., officials said.

The nurse is suspected of reusing saline bags and tubes intended for one-time use in chemical cardiac stress tests since 2004 at Broward General Medical Center, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The nurse, who since has resigned and has not been publicly identified, was reported to the Florida Board of Nursing. A patient allegedly noticed her reusing supplies and called the hospital, said hospital CEO James Thaw.

"This is the egregious act of one individual who blatantly violated the safety and health of our patients," Thaw said.

In a letter sent Saturday, patients treated by the nurse from 2004 through last month were told the hospital will pay for screenings to determine if they were infected, Thaw said.

If a disease is found, it will be investigated to determine its origin, hospital officials said.

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