Vet Could Be One of Thousands Affected by Insulin Pens

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2009 - 6:49pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:23pm

EL PASO--- Every day John Ceballos keeps one bag close by. It's a bag full of needles and insulin.

"I had a liver transplant back about five years ago, and apparently my liver donor possibly had diabetes, and I may have contracted it from the liver that i picked up," said Ceballos, who's learned to make the shots part of his everyday life.

Yet one day last summer, his blood sugar went out of control.
So he immediately made his way to William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

"So I went in to the emergency room, and they explained the problem to me and they went ahead and put me in one of the bays and they did administer the insulin on that one occasion," he said.

But now that visit may have led to an even greater problem.

"It's bad enough having to take the insulin just to survive, you know? and then to have to cope with one of these diseases, that would make it a lot worse," he said.

Ceballos found out Thursday he could be one of 2,114 patients at risk of a blood-borne disease, because of an insulin injection pen similar to the one he sometimes uses at home.

Hospital staff admitted to the public they had been misusing the insulin injection pens since their adoption in August 2007. While the staff had been using new needles per patient, they didn't know until last week they weren't supposed to use the same pen on multiple patients.

While the hospital staff has known about the problem for six days, NewsChannel 9 broke the news to Ceballos.

"I think that they should have contacted any and all individuals, you know, as soon as possible," said Ceballos.

Beaumont leaders say they've just now started to notify patients who need to be tested.
At a news conference, leaders told reporter it took some time to identify those who got insulin shots specifically with those pens.

The patients affected should be receiving notifications in the mail.

So Ceballos called the hospital's call center hotline to find out what he needed to do next.

"Do you have a history of hepatitis C? 'No sir.'" answered Ceballos to the operator.

After answering several more questions, Ceballos was able to make an appointment to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis A, B, and C before the end of the day.

According to Ceballos, doctors told him he should find out the results of his tests in three weeks.

The Associated Press reported that none of the 2,100 patients had been tested by late Thursday.

We will keep you updated on Ceballos' condition.

More than 2000 people may have been affected.

If you have any questions or concerns call Beaumont Hospital at 1-866-770-0194.

Comments News Comments

Post new Comment