Parents of babies in Boston, Massachusetts, may have heard about how hundreds of newborns in a New York hospital were possibly exposed to tuberculosis by a maternity ward employee who recently tested positive for the highly contagious, potentially deadly disease. Hospital negligence may be a common cause of health risks in a hospital, especially for newborns. Regarding the TB exposure, New York’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital alerted parents and notified the Health Department as soon as test results were known.

In a statement, the hospital moved to reassure patients and parents that comprehensive steps were being undertaken to address the situation. The statement added that if patients of the facility were not notified within a few days, then they had not come into contact with the infected staff member. The worker had reportedly been tested previously for tuberculosis and their health survey had not suggested any problems. The hospital did not identify the employee, nor did it release to the public any information about how far back the exposure had gone.

The hospital’s statement went on to reassure nervous parents by reminding them that individuals who contract TB are usually exposed over several hours to someone who has the disease. The statement said that, even though this was not the case, the facility was still taking extraordinary precautions to address the issue. It also reported that all hospital workers who may have been in contact with the TB-infected staff member would receive evaluation, testing and other follow-up services.

Hospital and physician negligence can cause serious injury even during routine medical procedures. Consulting a Boston medical malpractice attorney may be a good first step to those individuals who have suffered due to a hospital mistake or negligent staff member.

Source: NY Daily News, “Manhattan hospital worker may have exposed hundreds of babies to tuberculosis“, Corky Siemaszko, November 01, 2013