HIV and Hepatitis scare as University of Derby – hundreds affected
Reports have emerged from the Derby Telegraph that 606 past and present students at the University of Derby may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, according to sources. The NHS and the university are investigating blood test procedures carried out on hundreds of students by a healthcare worker who may be responsible for putting the students at risk.
Students who received vaccinations and blood tests carried out between 2005 and 2013 are being contacted by letter for further tests to be carried out on them to find out if they have contracted the life altering disease. Whilst this is being labelled as a “precautionary measure” with the risk of infection said to be “very low” the matter is of course being taken very seriously.
According to the investigations, syringe needles were replaced between patients, but the barrels were being reused on other patients, resulting in the risk of contamination between them. The healthcare worker allegedly involved has been reported to the appropriate authorities and suspended pending further investigation.
Vice-chancellor of the university has stated the following:
“This is a deeply regrettable incident and it does mean that we need to contact a significant number of our current and former students to ensure they get the information and guidance they need.
I apologise for the potential distress this may cause to the people involved.”
This is, of course, a serious matter despite the risks being perceived as low. With such a high volume of students affected there will of course be cause for serious concern. Hopefully no one has been infected with anything as the issue could be far more widespread if those infected have passed anything on to others.
From a legal perspective, we have represented victims who have made successful claims for personal injury compensation as a result of either contracting something they shouldn’t have done, or for the worry and concern aspect. It can take several months for test results to confirm whether a person is clear from certain infections, so the lengthy period of waiting is something that can be claimed for.
The report goes on to ask anyone with concerns following receipt of a letter to call a dedicated helpline – 03330 142479.
Students who attend the following courses are said to have been potentially affected:
- MA Art Therapy
- MA Drama Therapy
- MSc Occupational Therapy
- BSc Occupational Therapy
- BSc Nursing (adult and mental health)
- Adv Dip in Nurse Studies (adult and mental health)
For legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 634 75 75.