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No One Tests Positive for HIV After Syringes Reused at Cherokee Hospital

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokee Nation officials in Oklahoma say more than 180 patients affected by a tribal hospital nurse improperly reusing syringes have been notified they can receive free blood tests and that no one has tested positive for HIV or hepatitis.

So far, 127 of the patients have been tested. Tribal officials said Thursday it's unclear whether the rest will get tested.

Experts have said the chance of infection is remote. The hospital CEO said patients were never directly in contact with a needle.

Officials said the nurse violated protocols by using the same vial of medication and syringe to inject multiple intravenous bags at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah. The nurse no longer works for the tribe.

A panel reviewing the case plans to issue a report in August.