More patients potentially exposed to viruses during Atrium Health procedures

CHARLOTTE — More Atrium Health patients have told Channel 9 that they may have been exposed to multiple viruses during urology procedures.

Atrium Health contacted some patients one year after they had a urology procedure and that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis B, C and HIV.

There have been a dozen phone calls and emails to the Channel 9 newsroom since our report Thursday.

People said they also received a call that they would need to be tested for HIV and Hepatitis after procedures at Atrium Health Urology.

“I don’t know how to react to a situation like this,” said a man who spoke with Channel 9. “I want to seek the right advice but I’m not sure where everything lies. I’m in a holding pattern for the next six months or the rest of my life depending what comes of it.”

The Atrium Health patient asked Channel 9 not to identify him.

The man said he wants his voice to be heard.

He says he received a call last month telling him that in May he was potentially exposed to some sort of risk during a procedure at his urologist’s office and needed to get blood work done.

He said he was never told what he was being tested for.

“I looked at my medical chart and started seeing the HIV test and Hepatitis b and I was like man where is this coming from,” he said.

The man said he was then told he would need to test again at the end of November and again six months later.

He has many questions that have not been answered.

“What’s the definitive timeframe that I have to wait this out,” he said.

He wants anyone else who may be affected by this to come forward.

“Somebody else is dealing with this,” he said. “Hopefully enough people and enough voices can be heard where they can get the answers and put everyone at ease.”

Another man Channel 9 spoke with Friday feels the same.

“(I) saw the piece on the news last night and the story seemed so exactly like my experience was,” the viewer told Channel 9. “But the disturbing part is, if the guy last night had been a year infected, I was potentially infected on the fourth of May, so something had been going on for six months.”

Atrium Health confirmed Thursday night that certain cleaning and sanitization logs they require were not being accurately kept and because of that, they can’t verify that all of the necessary steps were taken to make sure equipment used in treatment was ready for patient use.

Channel 9 still doesn’t know how many people may be impacted if anyone has tested positive or how long this has been going on.

Channel 9 also obtained a class-action lawsuit filed on Nov. 3.

The complaint states that the named plaintiff underwent a procedure at Atrium Health Urology on July 11.

It says the plaintiff and other patients were not notified until last month that they needed to be tested for communicable diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis associated with exposure to equipment not properly sanitized.

VIDEO: 9 Investigates: Atrium Health alerts man to possible HIV exposure a year after procedure

Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.