State Health Department Shuts Down Eight Blood Collection Centers

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The state Department of Public Health has shut down eight blood collection centers because they were operating without a license or certificate.

DPH issued a cease and desist order Aug. 29 against BioReference Laboratories Inc. of New Jersey, for operating the unlicensed blood collection centers in Fairfield, Ansonia, Milford, New London, Norwich, Waterbury, Wallingford and North Stonington.

The order said that BioReference has a licensed clinical laboratory at 27 Hospital Ave. in Danbury, but that it opened the other labs before receiving a license or certificate to operate them.

“All blood drawing facilities that do not have a certificate have been shut down,” DPH spokesman William Gerrish said. “The department is continuing to investigate this matter.”

In the order, BioReference agreed to stop operations at those locations until it obtains a license or certificate. The company, which bills itself on its website as the third largest chain of full-service clinical diagnostic labs in the U.S., admitted in the order that it had operated the eight labs without a license.

It also agreed that if it does not comply with the cease and desist order that would be sufficient grounds for DPH to suspend its license to operate in Connecticut.

Richard L. Faherty, a senior vice president at BioReference, said the company is cooperating with DPH. He verified that it has closed the eight phlebotomy stations.

“These phlebotomy stations are provided solely as an accommodation to patients to have their blood drawn for testing and no testing is performed at these sites,’’ he said.








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