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More Than 1,600 Call Hospital After Doctor Dies of AIDS Complications

June 3, 1991

BEDFORD, Texas (AP) _ A hospital began offering free tests for the AIDS virus today to patients of a former anesthesiologist who died from AIDS-related complications.

However, officials there was virtually no chance that any of the more than 5,000 patients of Humberto Guajardo were exposed to the virus.

Guajardo worked at Harris Methodist Hospital from January 1984 to December 1989, when he left on an indefinite leave of absence, citing acute exhaustion. He died in February.

Hospital officials said they recently found out about Guajardo’s illness. How he contracted the disease wasn’t known, said the hospital’s administrator, Bill Whitman.

The hospital in Bedford, 20 miles west of Dallas, mailed 5,500 certified letters to Guajardo’s patients and, by Sunday night, more than 100 had requested AIDS tests, hospital officials said.

Hospital volunteers handled more than 1,600 telephone calls from people with questions about the doctor.

The nature of Guajardo’s work did not require him to come in contact with blood or other body fluids, and the risk of infection is remote, the federal Centers for Disease Control has said.

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