Insulin pen scare at Queen’s Hospital, Romford

07:00 16 June 2014

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital


An investigation was launched into whether diabetic patients at Queen’s Hospital unwittingly shared insulin pens, risking “cross contamination”.

A report from the directors meeting at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), last week, said that the issue is currently under review and there have been “incidents where the same pens are being used on a number of patients”.

Confusingly, the trust has now issued a statement saying that this never happened.

Douglas Twenefour, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “Guidance states that insulin pen devices and cartridges are for single person use only and should not be shared due to risk of cross contamination.”

BHRUT said that needles are disposed of immediately after use and there is no chance they are shared.

BHRUT medical director Stephen Burgess and director of nursing Flo Panel-Coates said: “It was noticed that insulin pens were being stored in a refrigerator where they could have potentially been used on more than one patient.

“However, there is absolutely no evidence that this occurred, and no patients came to any harm.

“Even though there is no evidence that these pens were used on more than one patient, it was rightly raised as an incident, an investigation carried out, and a full programme of training put in place to ensure that all clinical staff are fully aware of insulin safety.”

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