‘Need For Answers’ Over Hospital’s Hepatitis B Outbreak

Investigation Launched Into Concerns Over Contaminated Equipment

22.07.2011

Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell have called on health authorities to work quickly to tackle concerns that up to 150 people may be infected with Hepatitis B after being cared for at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

Public Health Wales has launched an investigation after it was announced that cardiac patients have received letters from the hospital outlining that they may be affected by the problems.

It is believed that the spread of the outbreak between March and April may have occurred through the use of contaminated surgery equipment, while the death of one woman is thought to be linked to the problems.

The hospital has been criticised for their speed in informing patients of the issues, with the outbreak originally being discovered around two weeks ago.

Beth Reay, a medical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said answers were clearly needed over the problems.

She explained: “We have acted for a number of people who have suffered serious illness as a result of treatment with contaminated equipment and products, as well as the families of those who have sadly died as a result of such errors.

“Because of this, we have seen first-hand just how devastating such issues can be, having a terrible, life-changing impact on a huge number of people.

“For the sake of those thought to have been affected, it is vital that health authorities work quickly to determine not only the source of the problems but also to assess how this outbreak could have been prevented.

“The conclusions of the investigation must highlight clearly where lessons can be learnt and provide clear guidance to all NHS Trusts on how similar problems could be avoided in the future.”