The Ohio Department of Health and the West Virginia Department of Health are encouraging patients of a McMechen pain management clinic to talk with their primary care physician about testing for some infectious diseases following an investigation of the facility by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.
On Monday, it was announced that the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health had identified possible, unsafe injection practices at Valley Pain Management in McMechen, which potentially exposed patients to blood-borne infectious diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health says that prior to November 1, 2013, Valley Pain Management, which opened in 2010, re-used needles/syringes to administer pain medications and saline solutions, and used the same pain medication vial for multiple patients.
“If someone has been a Valley Pain Management patient and received injections, it does not mean that he or she has contracted an infectious disease. It is impossible to predict which patients were potentially exposed to infectious diseases,” said ODH Program Manager of Viral Hepatitis Prevention Maureen Murphy-Weiss. “As a precaution, we are recommending that Ohio residents who have ever been a Valley Pain Management patient talk with their primary care provider about testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Some patients could have these serious diseases without any symptoms, and the sooner they are detected, the quicker treatment can begin.”
Testing is available for Valley Pain Management patients at these local health departments until October 21:
Hancock County Health Department (304) 564-3343
Brooke County Health Department (304) 737-3665
Wheeling - Ohio Health Department (304) 234-3682
Marshall County Health Department (304) 845-7840
Wetzel - Tyler Health Department (304) 337-2001
Ohio residents should call 1-844-593-5184 for additional information.
As of Tuesday, attorney Elgine McArdle is representing clinic owner Dr. Roland Chalifoux. McArdle said no complaint has been filed by any patient of the clinic and stated that no charges have been filed. Mcardle went on to say, "This is a reckless and needless scare."