State alerts patients of doc at center of needle scare

(AP) - The state health department is planning to sendabout 8,500 additional letters to patients of Long Island's Dr.Harvey Finkelstein, urging them to be tested for blood-bornediseases. The department

News 12 Staff

Dec 12, 2007, 2:16 AM

Updated 6,062 days ago

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(AP) - The state health department is planning to sendabout 8,500 additional letters to patients of Long Island's Dr.Harvey Finkelstein, urging them to be tested for blood-bornediseases.
The department last month sent letters to 628 patients, tellingthem that the Dix Hills doctor had improperly reused syringes in amulti-dose drug vial, which led to a transmission of hepatitis C in2004. A state health department spokesman said the 628 patients wasbased on information Finkelstein supplied.
But people began calling to say they also were the doctor'spatients from 2000-2005, when Finkelstein performed epiduralinjections and re-used needles before correcting his practices. The department has since concluded that Finkelstein had about11,000 patients from 2000-2005. A spokeswoman said 1,926 havealready been notified and about 600 have died.
Newsday reported that a woman answering the phone atFinkelstein's home refused to comment on the additional patientsbeing informed.
The health department has come under fire for waiting close tothree years before informing the public of the hepatitis Ctransmission.
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