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South Dakota finds clinic reused single-use supplies on patients

  • Story Highlights
  • Patients at South Dakota clinic warned of possible HIV, hepatitis exposure
  • Health officials found clinic was reusing equipment used in cytoscopies
  • Clinic is now operating under provisional license
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By Greg Morrison
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(CNN) -- More than 5,000 patients at a South Dakota urology clinic may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV after the facility reused single-use medical products on them, state health officials said.

The Siouxland Urology Center in Dakota Dunes has been ordered to contact nearly 5,700 former patients treated at the facility since 2002.

A routine inspection found the facility was reusing sterile saline bags, tubing and other medical supplies from cytoscopies, a diagnostic procedure that looks at the lower urinary tract.

"We witnessed the practice while we were in the facility," during a January inspection, said Barb Buhler of the South Dakota Health Department. Siouxland Urology has since been put under a provisional license and has been very cooperative, according to state officials.

"Although the risk of infection from our past procedure is very minimal and we are unaware of any blood infections in our patients caused by the cystoscopy practice we previously used, as a precautionary measure and at the request of the South Dakota Department of Health, we have notified our patients directly of this concern.," the facility's Web site said.

The clinic, which primarily serves clients from South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska, is offering free blood tests to those possibly affected to rule out the presence of viruses.

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