Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Tuberculosis exposure in maternity ward

Pennsylvania parents who traveled out of state to have their children might wish to know that a worker in the maternity ward at a Manhattan hospital tested positive for tuberculosis and may have exposed hundreds of infants to the disease. The hospital immediately began taking the necessary steps to notify those who came in contact with the worker of their exposure. They also notified the Health Department and said that they would pay for parents of the children who may have been exposed to have their children tested by doctors of the parents' choice.

The identity of the worker was not released, but the hospital released a statement saying that if patients did not receive a notification within the few days after the statement was made, then they did not come in contact with the worker. The parents of any children who did come in contact with the worker might end up seeking the counsel of medical malpractice attorneys if their babies end up testing positive for the disease.

Infants and new parents were not the only individuals who may have come in contact with the worker; the hospital also notified other staff members so that they could undergo testing. The hospital has tried to ease some nervous patients' fears by noting that TB is curable if it is detected and treated. Additionally, TB contraction usually requires hours of continuous exposure. Some patients may still be wary since there are new strands of the bacteria that have become more resistant to the drugs used to treat the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, TB claims the lives of almost two million people every year, and not all of the epidemics are in undeveloped countries. If any lives are claimed from this instance, the hospital may be held liable for not taking note of the infection sooner.

Source: NY Daily News, "Manhattan hospital worker may have exposed hundreds of babies to tuberculosis", Corky Siemaszko, November 01, 2013

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