Sterilization Breach In Denver's Porter Adventist Hospital Puts Surgery Patients At Risk For HIV, Hepatitis

Mia Lorenzo

In a statement, the Colorado health department claimed that patients who have undergone orthopedic and spine surgery at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Colorado are at risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

As reported by CBS Denver, the health department describes the incident as a "significant health breach."

The said hospital notified surgery patients between July 21, 2016 and February 20, 2018. The reason for the heightened risk during the 18-month period is improper cleaning of surgical instruments used in spine and orthopedic surgeries, according to Dr. Larry Wolk of the Colorado health department. The said process was found to be inadequate which could compromise the sterilization of the said instruments.

There is no report of any infection related to the said breach. While the health department expressed concerns about the related risk, there is a very low chance that patients who went through surgery will contract hepatitis or immunodeficiency virus. There is also no risk for patients who are currently staying or seeking treatment from the hospital.

Meanwhile, Porter Adventist Hospital also issued a statement assuring patients that they are taking the necessary action.

"We want to assure patients that our team immediately acted to remedy the situation. Recent survey results released by The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals in the United States, revealed no errors in our process or protocols."

Meanwhile, patients who are facing an increased risk of catching the dreaded diseases have also been informed by mail which was sent out on April 4.

All patients after Feb. 20 are in no danger as Porter Adventist Hospital replaced all equipment. The health department also clarified the risk involved.

"While there is always a risk of infection during surgery, it appears there is no increased risk to current patients having surgery at Porter Adventist Hospital because of the infection control breach."