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Reuse of Needles at Clinic Yields 1-Year Term

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A former health care worker who reused needles to draw blood from multiple patients was sentenced this week to a year in prison.

In March 1999, a co-worker of Elaine Giorgi, 55, told superiors at her Palo Alto clinic that Giorgi was reusing needles and mislabeling blood samples. Giorgi later said she wanted to save supplies to show supervisors that she could run a cost-efficient lab.

Giorgi admitted to four charges of illegal treatment of medical waste and one misdemeanor charge of altering medical records.

Though no one was proven to have gotten sick from Giorgi’s actions, at the sentencing Santa Clara County Judge Hugh Mullin said what she did was as dangerous as holding a loaded gun to the patients’ heads.

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Giorgi still faces two lawsuits and the SmithKline Beecham clinic faces four.


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