Man Sues New Jersey Hospital for Allegedly Giving him Hepatitis B

Man Sues New Jersey Hospital for Allegedly Giving him Hepatitis BA man from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, is suing Easton Hospital, its owner and Miller-Keystone Blood Center for damages after undergoing a heart procedure in July of 2009, where he claims he contracted hepatitis B during a blood transfusion, the Express-Times reports.

The complaint was filed in July by Roger Wolf and his wife Linda Wolf in the New Jersey Superior Court in Belvidere.

According to the news source, the lawsuit lists the defendants as Easton Hospital and Northampton Hospital Company LLC and Community Health Systems Inc., which have both been eyeing the Wilson Borough hospital with an interest in possible ownership. Miller-Keystone Blood Center and its parent company Hospital Central Services are also listed as defendants, as well as a handful of healthcare professionals who are currently unidentified, but were allegedly involved in the operation and ensuing procedures.

Wolf claims that he checked in to Easton Hospital on July 27, 2009, where he was to receive cardiac catheterization and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, which would necessitate a transfusion of red blood cells, the media outlet stated.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is given to patients who need improved blood flow to the heart, and is often performed on individuals with coronary heart disease. It is the most common form of open-heart surgery performed in the United States.

The complaint states that the medical professionals at both the hospital and the blood center did not properly screen the blood to be administered to Wolf for pathogens, which caused him to contract the disease from contaminated blood cells.

Now, Wolf alleges he suffers from "excruciating pain" because of the illness, and that it is keeping him from going about his "normal business."

According to the National Library of Medicine, Hepatitis B is normally transmitted through bodily fluids, and can be contracted through direct contact with blood in a medical setting, sexual contact, shared needles, or blood transfusions. It causes irritation and swelling of the liver, which can lead to fever, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting or jaundice.

Easton Hospital released a statement on Friday, August 19, in which it touted that "providing quality patient care and safety is our top priority," but when asked by the news provider, declined to make any further comments about the lawsuit.