Miramichi Forceps

Little v. Regional Health Authority B

New Brunswick Supreme Court File: N/C/93/2013 

In cooperation with Chesley F. Crosbie, Q.C. of St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Wagners Law Firm is investigating the recent announcement that nearly 2,500 women may have a risk of infection of Hepatitis and/or HIV as a result of the use of unsterilized forceps which were used at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in New Brunswick.

On August 28, 2013, The Horizon Health Network of New Brunswick announced that 2,497 female patients who had biopsies performed in the colposcopy clinic at the Miramichi Regional Hospital may now be at risk of infections due to the lack of care in following appropriate sterilization methods. From May 1999 to May 24, 2013, approximately 14 years, the forceps used by the Hospital did not meet the 50 year old sterilization standards recognized in Canada and the United States.

Horizon announced that the patients who underwent biopsies during the time frame in question will be advised of the risk and the health authority will suggest that blood tests be performed to determine if any infections may have resulted. During a press conference, representatives of Horizon indicated that the risk of infection was small, however it remains to be seen if this position will be borne out once the tests have been completed.

The forceps were put through a process to eliminate any germs or bacteria, however the Miramichi Regional Hospital utilized a disinfection procedure instead of the recognized and accepted practice of sterilization. Disinfection kills MOST germs whereas sterilization is used to kill ALL forms of germs.

The Horizon Health Network only recently came to the conclusion that they should disclose this serious breach of medical care and advise the patients of the potential for exposure. It remains unclear why it took 3 months for Horizon to come to the conclusion to disclose the error. Nor is any disciplinary action considered against the employee who was responsible for the lax procedures used on the forceps.

This incident involving the Miramichi Regional Hospital comes 5 years after the pathology errors as a result of improper reading of slides by Dr. Rajgopal Menon. Wagners and Mr. Crosbie have commenced a class action in relation to the pathology scandal.

We are continuing our investigation into the sub-standard sterilization practices used at the hospital. If you or a family member have received a letter from Horizon indicating that you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B or C, HIV, you may contact Mr. Wagner or Mr. Crosbie to discuss the situation further.

We are presently accepting enquiries from individuals who have received correspondence from Horizon Health Network of New Brunswick with respect to possible risk of infection due to exposure to unsterilized forceps used at the Miramichi Hospital from 1999 to May 24, 2013.

If you, or a member of your family, have received a letter from Horizon indicating that you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B or C, HIV, you may be eligible for inclusion as a Class Member in our proposed class action lawsuit.

To sign up and determine if you qualify, please fill out this registration form:

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