Feb. 4, 2016
Local group offers help to patients of Swedish
DENVER — Denver’s Liver Health Connection is ramping up to help thousands of patients involved in a massive exposure event at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colo.
Swedish began notifying 2,900 patients Wednesday of possible exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV during surgeries at their facility over the past five months. Investigations are underway into the practices of a surgical technician suspected of diverting narcotics intended for patients. The suspect may have put patients at risk.
“While Swedish Medical Center is picking up the cost for testing, patients are likely to have questions about the diseases to which they could have been exposed,” said Nancy Steinfurth, executive director of Liver Health Connection. “They may have questions about the tests themselves and what the next steps should be if it is confirmed they have been infected.”
Liver Health Connection runs a helpline for patients, providers and the general public to answer questions related to diseases of the liver including hepatitis B and C and co-infections of these viruses with HIV.
Support services include a navigation program that assists patients in gaining access to care, educational materials and other important resources.
“Individuals potentially harmed by the suspect should know there is additional help available. Getting a call like this can be frightening, and the first thing people want are facts,” said Steinfurth. “We have helpful information they need.”
People can call 720-917-3965 to reach the helpline. Information about the diseases and other resources can be accessed online at LiverHealthConnection.org.
Media contact: Dede Laugesen, firstname.lastname@example.org