Three youths who found used glass vials in North Hollywood were not exposed to blood residue because the vials remained sealed, a health official said Tuesday.
Marty Kasman, a Los Angeles County Department of Health Services investigator, said Panorama Community Hospital in Panorama City and Sherwood Medical Co. of St. Louis, Mo., were cited for improper handling of the vials.
A 12-year-old girl and two 13-year-old boys found the items--vacuum tubes used to collect blood samples--on top of a car owned by a sales representative of the medical company, Kasman said.
The mother of one of the children, who live in the 5600 block of Colfax Avenue, called police when she saw them playing with the items.
The salesman, whom Kasman would not identify, had intended to send the vials back to the company because they were defective. He had picked them up from the hospital but left them on top of his car.
Kasman said that the citations are warnings and that no criminal prosecution is planned. “We recognize that accidents will happen and no exposure” to the blood residue occurred, he said.
Hospitals are required to dispose of such materials in an approved manner. They can be incinerated, sterilized or removed by an authorized disposal service, Kasman said.