03/20/2012 02:51 EDT | Updated 05/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Health officials investigate after blood, urine samples found near road

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's largest health board is reporting a privacy breach after biomedical waste was discovered near a busy St. John's road.

Eastern Health is investigating how the waste — which consisted of three urine samples and eight vials of blood with patient names on them — ended up near a provincial government building along Prince Philip Drive on Monday.

The health board says the waste originated from the emergency department of the Health Sciences Centre.

In an email, Eastern Health says the blood and urine samples were inappropriately disposed of in regular garbage that was sent to the landfill.

Eastern Health says it has sent crews to clean up the waste.

It says it is notifying the patients of the privacy breach.