Pennsylvania hospital cited over sterilization issues

State officials have cited Penn Medicine's Lancaster (Pa.) General Hospital for several health code violations, including failure to ensure sterilization equipment was available for surgeries.

The citations came after state inspectors made a surprise visit to the hospital on Nov. 21, 2023. 

A review of medical records found one procedure was delayed 40 minutes and two others were canceled after surgical teams identified issues with equipment, including holes in sterile packaging and instrumentation trays that were not reprocessed after a prior surgery. 

Inspectors also observed several employees who were not wearing masks inside the operating room. 

Lancaster General Hospital shared a plan of correction with health officials in November. Actions include requesting more operating room and sterile processing staff members from its travel agency and creating a monitoring tool to ensure all instruments are available and ready for use. 

"Patient safety is an essential cornerstone of care across Lancaster General Health," a spokesperson for the hospital told NBC affiliate WGAL. "Our plan of correction demonstrates our commitment to continuously improve the reliability and safety of our processes. We are fully cooperating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health in connection with this matter."

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