Hospital mistake being blamed for giving woman hepatitis - CBS46 News

Hospital mistake being blamed for giving woman hepatitis

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A mistake at a local hospital may have given a woman hepatitis.

We told you last week some improperly cleaned equipment at Piedmont West Surgery Center used during colonoscopies put more than 450 patients at risk of getting infected with diseases like HIV or hepatitis.

The odds were supposedly one in a million, but CBS Atlanta was contacted by a woman who claims she has tested positive for hepatitis B.

Renee Phelps lives in California now, but she used to live in Atlanta. She sent CBS Atlanta News documents that not only show she got a colonoscopy at Piedmont West, but was diagnosed with hepatitis B.

Piedmont Hospital claimed it immediately sent out letters to all of the patients that could be affected, Phelps said she never got it. In fact, she didn't know anything about it until her husband saw something on the news.

"When I read the story I immediately started to panic over it," said Jack Phelps, Renee's husband.

Renee Phelps immediately got tested, and three days later she got a call she never wanted to get.

"The doctor called and went over everything and said 'Unfortunately you have been exposed to hepatitis B,'" said Renee Phelps. She added, "I was in shock and kind of just numb and in denial. I just couldn't believe that was happening to me."

Then she realized she might not be the only one affected by it.

"Then I started to think 'Oh my god, my poor husband could have it,'" said Renee Phelps.

"I'm sorry, I'm a little choked up. It's really hard to believe you could be damaged in this way," said Jack Phelps.

Renee Phelps contacted Piedmont Hospital, asked for the letter they sent out, and sent them her test results.

She said she was told management would contact her, but that hasn't happened.

CBS Atlanta contacted Piedmont Hospital to get a response, but they refused to comment on the Phelps' claims, saying they can't address patient information.

As for having a confirmed case in what the hospital said was a one in a million chance, they denied it.

In a statement put out by Matt Gove with Piedmont Healthcare, "At this time, we have had no documented cases caused by the surgery center."

The denial just added to the Phelps' frustration.

"I'm very angry at the hospital because I feel like I've been treated like I'm nothing," said Renee Phelps.

So how does Renee Phelps know she got the infection from Piedmont West Surgical Center?

Renee Phelps said she gets yearly physicals done and it's never shown up in the past, then her recent positive test showed a window of time when she might have picked it up. That window includes her surgery at Piedmont West Surgery Center.

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