Patients sue Indiana hospital over possible disease exposure

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GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — More than 1,000 surgical patients are suing a northern Indiana hospital after being notified that a sterilization failure could have exposed them to deadly infections.

The Elkhart Truth reports the class-action suit was filed last week in Elkhart County Court against Goshen Hospital on behalf of patient Linda Gierek and others who had surgery between April and September. It alleges the patients were potentially exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV.

The hospital recently notified patients who had surgery in that period that a sterilization technician failed to complete one crucial step in the process of some surgical equipment, possibly affecting 1,182 patients.

Gierek says in the suit that the potential exposure triggered ongoing emotional distress and trauma.

A message seeking comment Friday was not immediately returned by hospital officials.

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Information from: The Elkhart Truth, http://www.elkharttruth.com

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