UPDATE: Commenter CT points out that the students involved were not medical school students but were in the University of New Mexico physician assistant program, a fact confirmed on the university’s web page about the incident.
Following news this week that two drug companies were hit with punitive damages after vials of the anesthetic propofol were re-used and infected patients with hepatitis C, The Associated Press’ Susan Montoya Bryan reports that “a group of New Mexico medical school students failed to properly change needles on devices used for blood glucose testing” putting people at risk for contracting serious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV.
Photo by AlishaV via Flickr
More than 50 people were tested during a free event during the American Indian Week Pueblo Day on April 24 in Albuquerque, N.M., which was attended by people from all over the world: “The center’s visitor list for that Saturday included more than 1,600 people from across the nation and abroad – including Canada, Italy, Sweden and Germany.”
Bryan reports that the students used devices, similar to home glucose testers, which contain six lancets that are triggered to draw a blood sample. “With each use, the device must be advanced manually to load a new lancet.”
A spokesman for University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center says “the devices should not have been used at the public event and not all of the students were properly trained to use them. ”
Public health authorities have requested that those who participated in the testing event call 888-899-6092 or visit the UNM website for more information and referral for screening.