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Tuberculosis scare hits maternity ward; hospital cautions parents

Covington may not be as crowded as Manhattan, but the news that a New York City maternity ward employee may have spread tuberculosis in a busy hospital may have sent chills to new parents all around the country. No cases of wrongful death from TB had been reported, but authorities said that hundreds of newborns were possibly exposed to the deadly disease from the worker, who tested positive for the contagious illness.

The hospital was notifying parents whose babies had been in the ward and also alerted the Health Department as soon as the worker's positive test results came in. A statement from the facility said that swift and comprehensive steps were being taken to address the situation. The hospital informed recent patients that if they were not contacted within a few days, then they had not come across the infected individual while being treated.

The statement said that the employee's health survey had not suggested any problems when he or she had been previously tested for TB, but the person's identity was not revealed. Additionally, no information was given about how far back in time the exposure might have gone. However, the hospital did attempt to reassure parents by reminding them that TB transmission between humans usually requires continuous exposure over several hours.

Hospital malpractice like nursing errors or actions done by incompetent doctors can damage or even end lives. Those individuals who have suffered permanent injury from emergency room errors or other hospital mistakes might find relief through the court system. Injured parties may be able to recover compensation for damages resulting from anesthesia mistakes or other hospital errors.

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

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