New Jersey officials say that a nurse accused of reusing syringes while giving flu shots has voluntarily surrendered her license.
The state Attorney General’s office said the nurse’s license is temporarily suspended and she is not able to practice pending a ruling from the state’s board of nursing, the Associated Press (AP) reports.In a consent order, the board said the nurse “administered an inadequate amount of the flu vaccine” to patients at Otsuka Pharmaceutical in West Windsor; she reused two single-use syringes. The board said such actions, if proven, demonstrate that the nurse engaged in acts of gross negligence, malpractice, or incompetence. “Such conduct evidences that [the nurse] is a clear and imminent danger to the public warranting a temporary suspension of her license to practice nursing in the state,” the order states, according to the AP.
New Jersey health officials say the risk of infection is low. Syringes that hold the vaccine, not the needles, were reused.
The incidents happened September 30. The TotalWellness contractor administered flu vaccines to 67 Otsuka Pharmaceutical workers, the AP reports. TotalWellness said the nurse was an independent contractor and that the company is working with health officials to notify patients and handle potential health risks. Health officials recommended that the 67 people be tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV.
TotalWellness president and founder Alan Kohll said in a statement, “We take full responsibility for this incident and are working diligently with the New Jersey Department of Health to resolve this matter as swiftly as possible.” Kohll offered “sincerest apologies” to those affected by “this terrible event.”
The AP said it is not identifying the nurse because she has not been charged with a crime. Otsuka Pharmaceutical said in a statement that it was alarmed at the breach; the company said employee health is its top concern.
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