BEAUMONT SCARE UPDATE: Test Results To Come Thursday

POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 8:30am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm

EL PASO--- Patients affected by this month's William Beaumont Army Medical Center scare may soon know their fate.

Hospital administrators say beginning Thursday, they will start to notify patients who tested for blood borne diseases this month of their results.

"It's been kind of an anxious time waiting, you just never know what to expect," said veteran John Ceballos.

You may remember Ceballos; a veteran we found the day the story broke. He believes he's one of the more than 2,000 patients affected in the scare.

Early February, staff at the hospital told the public they had misused insulin injection pens on diabetes patients admitted into their hospital. Patients, like Ceballos.

"But because I know I received emergency services and I did receive insulin injections, I went and was tested," Ceballos said.

The pens inject insulin into the body, a tool used in place of the normal syringe.
We're told for a year and a half, nurses used them - changed the needle tip - but re-used the pen over and over on multiple patients.
Hospital staff and diabetes experts have told NewsChannel Nine that the danger of spreading a blood illness this way is very minimal, but is possible.

Ceballos says he's trying not to worry.

"I'm sure they understand that everyone's anxiously awaiting the results. We don't want to rush them because we want the results to come back as true as possible, you know we want them to get accurate results," he said.

That might happen sooner than he thought.
The hospital staff says they're expecting to have the results of early testers, like Ceballos, by Thursday.

According to the staff, patients should only receive phone calls if their tests are abnormal or inconclusive. Staff leaders say at that time, patients may have to go back for further testing.

"I hope that veterans don't have to go through a prolonged process like that. I'm hoping that's it's something they'll be able to take care of quickly," he said.

Those in the clear will get letter from the hospital, but there are still hundreds of people who have not been contacted at all.
We're told staffers have yet to hear back from almost 25 percent of the people who need to be tested.

Realistically, there will likely be some people on the list who they will never find, who will never know about the risk, never receive the information.

Administrators say they're doing all they can to find them.

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