More than 3,000 patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis at New Jersey surgery center

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Patients at a Bergen County surgery center were advised they may have been exposed to infections. (Shutterstock)

More than 3,000 patients who underwent procedures at a surgery center in New Jersey are being advised to be tested for hepatitis and HIV.

State health officials say patients at the HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook may have been exposed to bloodborne infections because of lapses in infection control procedures.

The warning covers anyone who had procedures between January and September 7 of this year.

Surgery center administrator Betty McCabe says the exposure was due to "deficiencies in infection control" involving the cleaning of instruments and injection of medications.

McCabe says 3,778 patients are being urged to get their blood tested.

Health officials say they're not aware of any illness as a result of the infection control issues.

The center sent a letter to patients that read in part:

"Knowing if you have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV is important because there are medicines, treatments, and other things that people with these infections can do to protect their health. You can be infected with these diseases and not feel sick at all. It is important that you get tested, even if you do not remember feeling sick. The tests are a simple blood test. All of us at HealthPlus understand this may be upsetting. We want to assure you that we will assist you during this process, including paying for all medical costs associated with testing. We recommend that you get tested as soon as possible."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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