Lachine Hospital facing possible class-action suit over HIV scare
Two plaintiffs among 150 patients notified by letter that they might have been exposed to HIV during surgery
Two Lachine Hospital patients who had to undergo tests for HIV and hepatitis because an improperly cleaned instrument was used during their surgeries are requesting to launch a class-action lawsuit against the hospital and its staff.
The two women were among 150 bariatric surgery patients who received written notices earlier this year that they might have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis as a result of the mistake.
The lawsuit alleges mismanagement of the incident and an “inappropriate” attitude on the part of medical staff at the hospital.
Both women tested negative for infection, but they are suing for lost time and mental suffering.
“These patients have been through a lot. It makes no sense that the tool used in this surgery was not properly cleaned between patients,” said the women’s lawyer, David Assor.
The hospital was not available for comment on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the MUHC told CBC News on Tuesday that 89 per cent of the 150 patients had been located and all had tested negative for HIV and hepatitis.
The hospital was still trying to contact the remaining 11 per cent.
A routine review of cleaning and sterilization procedures found that a liver retractor hadn’t been completely disassembled during past cleanings.
The tool is used to lift the liver to allow the surgeon a better view of the stomach.
Unidentified surgical debris was discovered in a connection point that hadn’t been unscrewed.