Hundreds may have been pricked with used needle

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of patients at a Wilmington health clinic are finding out they may have been stuck with unsanitary needles and could have been exposed to infectious diseases like AIDS.

Alfred Thomas, the CEO of New Hanover Community Health Center on North 4th Street, says a lancet machine that tests blood sugar malfunctioned.

A worker discovered that fresh needles were not rotating, meaning someone could have been pricked with a used needle.

283 people have used the machine since it arrived at the clinic in January.

The clinic is now working to contact those people and test them for HIV and Hepatitis.

Thomas says 50 people have come in for testing so far, and all tests have been negative.  He says they will start making phone calls if the other patients don't show up for tests soon.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.