Patients at B.C. acupuncture clinic warned to get HIV testing
Health officials are urging patients of an Abbotsford, B.C. acupuncture clinic to get tested for hepatitis B, C and HIV over concerns that needles may have been reused.
The Fraser Health Authority started investigating the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre early this month after a former patient tested positive for a blood borne disease.
Medical Health Officer Dr. Michelle Murti said the probe uncovered poor infection control measures that may have put patients at “serious risk.”
“Used needles were being stored in open receptacles where we cannot now determine for sure that they were not being reused from one patient to the next,” Murti said.
B.C.’s regulatory body, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, requires that all members use only disposable needles.
Fraser Health also said there were no new needles at the clinic, and all of the products on hand expired in 2006.
The clinic has been shut down and patients are being told to contact their health care provider and get tested.
Fraser Health is also in the process of contacting everyone who has used the clinic since it opened in 2005, which could be as many as 1,000 people.
Murti said the woman who runs the clinic, Duan Hu, who also goes by Deborah, is cooperating with the investigation, and the clinic will only be able to reopen if it passes inspection.
Her licence has also been suspended.
For more information on the recommended testing, patients can visit the Fraser Health Authority website.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson