NC DHHS cites Mt. Olive facility in hepatitis outbreak

November 16, 2010 4:00:17 PM PST
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has cited GlenCare for violations in three areas in connection with the Hepatitis B outbreak that killed five patients at the Wayne County assisted living facility.The state issued a final report to the facility this week.

Click here to read the report

The report details how often at least six of the GlenCare residents had their blood sugar tested and finds that residents had to share lancet pins, which may have led to the deaths of at least five residents and sickened three others with Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease that is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids. State investigators say during interviews earlier this month with GlenCare employees, one medication tech admitted the same blood testing needles were shared between multiple patients.

Jeff Horton with the Division of Health Service Regulation says it is unclear if the deaths could've been prevented, but regardless proper measures should have been taken.

"You don't know for sure, but it looks from all the evidence that if the proper measures were put in place you hope that these deaths could've been prevented," he said.

The other violations from the state are related to improper training and not treating residents with respect.

The state Division of Health Regulation began its investigation into GlenCare last month and got the Mount Olive facility to immediately correct some problems, including giving each diabetic resident their own lancet pen and properly training staff on how to clean testing equipment.

Click here to read more about the investigation

And one employee with an anger management issue allegedly would, "talk nasty to some of the residents."

GlenCare has until Friday to respond further, then fines would be levied.

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