Two nurses at Salisbury's VA Medical Center have put some patients at risk of infection.
Those nurses admitted to using insulin pens on more than one patient. It's something that could transfer diseases like HIV. The hospital is testing more than 200 former inpatients for certain diseases.
"We had two individual failings here at our medical center and we're taking full responsibility for those failings," said Kaye Green, the Medical Center's director.
She said those failings took place at two inpatient facilities on her campus.
In December 2012, the National Center for Patient Safety asked VA Hospitals nationwide to investigate whether insulin pens were being used correctly. After interviewing dozens of nurses, two of them admitted to using the pens on more than one patient.
"All of our staff has been educated that these pens are for just one patient," Green said.
Doctors at the Medical Center said the risk of disease from this is very small. However, they didn't want to take any chances with patient safety.
"There is a risk and that's the reason why we have to test everybody who's been exposed," said Dr. Charles de Comarmond, chief of infectious disease at the Medical Center.
The two nurses involved couldn't say which patients they re-used the pens on or when, so the hospital is reaching out to every patient who may have been exposed between the times they started using the pens until the error was discovered. A total of 205 patients were identified to be notified and offered serology testing for possible exposure, along with counseling and treatment if necessary.
Some veterans were happy to see the problem corrected but angry to hear the news.
"You don't play with somebody's life like that," said Paul Knox.
The Medical Center director said the two nurses involved no longer work with patients. Since the incident the hospital has stopped using insulin pens in their inpatient facilities.
They are encouraging veterans with concerns over insulin pens to call 1-855-286-2248.