HCA hospital suspends surgeries amid equipment issues

HCA Florida's North Florida Hospital in Gainesville will suspend elective surgeries for four days, beginning Jan. 17, to address equipment sterilization issues, a spokesperson for HCA Florida confirmed to Becker's.

A spokesperson for the 510-bed hospital confirmed that the equipment-related issue was affecting "presurgical processes," and that it is rescheduling certain elective procedures "out of an abundance of caution," the spokesperson said. 

The health system, however, did not address additional questions pertaining to what specifically prompted the initial concerns or what type of equipment was affected. 

"The issue is being addressed to ensure we continue to maintain the highest standards of quality," the HCA spokesperson said. "Patient safety is always our top priority."

Some emergency surgeries were reportedly directed to other area hospitals late Jan. 17, the day prior to public confirmation of the issues, according to The Gainesville Sun. Hospital sources also shared an internal memo on the matter sent to employees with The Gainesville Sun, which described the issue as involving "the activities of its Sterile Processing Department, the unit that cleans and sanitizes equipment, such as drills and other precision medical tools, that are reused after surgeries."

If all goes according to plan, HCA Florida's halt of surgeries at its flagship hospital should resume by the weekend.


Editor's note: An HCA spokesperson confirmed to Becker's Jan. 25 that surgeries have resumed.

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