No HIV Cases Detected Among Former Patients of HIV-Positive Surgeon Who Worked at Montreal Children’s Hospital
None of the former child patients of a now-deceased HIV-positive surgeon so far have tested positive for the virus, officials from Montreal-based Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital said on Monday, the Montreal Gazette reports. Dr. Maria Di Lorenzo, who died in August 2003, operated on about 2,600 patients between 1990 and 2003. Hospital officials said that 2,175 of the former patients have undergone HIV testing at the hospital, according to the Gazette (Derfel, Montreal Gazette, 3/30). "No case of HIV has been found," according to a statement from the hospital, the CP/Canada.com reports (Daly, CP/Canada.com, 3/29). Di Lorenzo in 1991 informed her immediate supervisor of her HIV-positive status, and a committee was formed to determine what medical work she could do. However, the hospital administration said it was unaware of Di Lorenzo's HIV status until January (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/26). According to Dr. Lucie Poitras, director of professional services at the hospital, the 15% of patients who were not tested either did not want to be tested or "have been out of touch with us for several years." She added, "For us, 85% is a rate that's quite exceptional. If you look at similar efforts, we're generally talking about 20% to 50%" (CP/Canada.com, 3/29). The Quebec College of Physicians on Thursday is expected to make public a report on the hospital's handling of the incident. The report is expected to include guidelines on what physicians should do if they are infected with HIV or other viruses, according to the Gazette (Montreal Gazette, 3/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.