Patients at risk of HIV after plastic surgery clinic reuses syringes, vials


SPOKANE, Wash. - A licensing inspection at a Spokane plastic surgery center revealed that staff had been reusing syringes and drug vials meant for single use, exposing patients to a risk of HIV or other infections, the state Department of Health said.

Investigators said the practices at Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Center may have exposed patients to risk of infection.

Officials said they took immediate action to ensure that the clinic stopped the unsafe practices, and required the clinic to develop a plan of correction after the inspection in April.

The facility complied.

State health officials are trying to notify at least 415 patients about the potential exposure.

Infection risk is low, but as a precaution anyone who had surgery at the facility between 2006 and April 11, 2013 should check with their doctor and consider taking a blood test for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

It’s possible that an infected person could pass the illness on to others through contact with blood or other body fluids. The infection cannot be spread by shaking hands, sharing food, or kissing. The risk of being infected is low and treatment is available.  More information is available on the Department of Health website.

Patients should contact their doctor with questions or call the Department of Health Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology at 206-418-5500.