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Patient Discusses Her Experience Following Potential HCV, HIV Exposure

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TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -

One of the nearly 200 patients potentially exposed to Hepatitis C and HIV is saying she was bullied online for asking for the answers she says she deserves.

“I’m kind of scared to go back to the hospital,” Natasha West said.

West says the hospital first contacted her about the issue in May.

“They actually told me I was selected for a random screening for Hepatitis C and HIV,” she said.

West says she realized it wasn’t random after news broke of a possible breach of medical protocol at the hospital.

6/10/2018 Related Story:  Cherokee Nation Recommends 186 Patients Be Tested For HIV And Hep C

News On 6 was the first to report that the Cherokee Nation said a nurse used the same vial of medication and syringe to inject more than one IV bag.

“I’m still very untrusting because I just feel like it should’ve come out sooner,” said West.

She says she’s happy to see that nurse, now identified as John Baker, taking some responsibility.

Baker released a statement Monday afternoon, saying that as soon as he realized he wasn’t following protocol, he “immediately began working with healthcare professionals to identify any mistakes that may have been made.”

Tribal councilman David Walkingstick says there’s still a lot of questions to be answered.

6/18/2018 Related Story:  Cherokee Chief's Son Identified As Nurse Involved In HIV/Hep C Scare

“I hope that this was accidental, but Nursing 101, this is common sense,” said Walkingstick.  “The other side of it is, was it intentional?  Was he out to harm people?  Or was he out to get the extra medicine?”

Baker’s father is Chief Bill John Baker.

Chief Baker released a statement Monday saying his son’s “acceptance of responsibility is representative of his values and the quality of man that he is.”

Walkingstick says, “under my watch, that will not happen again.”

Baker (the nurse) resigned in May.

Chief Baker has recused himself from a panel that is being formed to investigate the incident and come up with a solution so something like this never happens again.

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