An excerpt from the letter:
We are sending this letter because you were an inpatient at Olean General Hospital between November 2009 and January 16, 2013 and received an insulin pen injection during your hospitalization. At Olean General, we care about the health and wellness of our patients, so out of an abundance of caution, we are informing you about a recent development that may affect you.
Our records indicate that you were a hospital inpatient at Olean General Hospital between November 2009 and January 16, 2013 and received an insulin pen injection during your hospitalization. Recent interviews with nursing staff at the hospital indicated that some insulin pens may have been used for more than one patient.
We have not identified any specific patients who received an insulin injection from another patient’s insulin pen and there is no documentation of any transmission of blood borne infections during the hospitalization of any patient during this period. However, we are recommending as a precautionary measure that you be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
We also recommend you be retested for HIV three months after your last insulin pen injection at Olean General Hospital and for hepatitis B and hepatitis C six months after your last insulin pen injection at the hospital. We are trying to be as proactive as possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and we feel it is incumbent on us to contact you in the event, no matter how small, the inappropriate use of an insulin pen may have occurred.
I appreciate that the hospital is acting out of an abundance of caution, and lacking any firm evidence it doesn't look as if anyone actually contract hepatitis or HIV in this way. But it does sound strange that any North American hospital would even think of reusing a needle.