5 hospitals with sterilization issues in 2018

Hospitals must ensure reusable medical devices and surgical tools are properly cleaned and sterilized to protect patients from potentially harmful bacteria.  

Here are five hospitals that faced sterilization issues in 2018:

1. Denver hospital's 18-month infection control breach possibly exposes unknown number to HIV, hepatitis
Orthopedic and spine surgery patients at Denver-based Porter Adventist Hospital were at added risk for surgical site infections or exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV due to inadequate surgical equipment sterilization practices implemented between July 21, 2016, and Feb. 20, 2018.

2. Aspen Valley Hospital suspends elective surgeries over sterilization issues
Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital temporarily suspended elective surgeries in January after workers noticed extra moisture in surgical packs. The problem was attributed to a mechanical issue with the hospital's steam sterilization process.

3. Sterilization issues prompt California hospital to reschedule surgeries
Torrance (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center voluntarily rescheduled 17 operations in October after state public health surveyors expressed concern about the hospital's surgical equipment sterilization process during an unannounced audit.

4. New York hospital diverts surgical patients due to sterilization issues
Middletown, N.Y.-based Orange Regional Medical Center diverted some surgical patients to other facilities out of an abundance of caution in early November after a visible residue of a nonbiological agent appeared on surgical trays.

5. Oregon hospital cancels some elective surgeries over sewage leak in sterilization department
A sewage leak in the central processing department at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend (Ore.) led the hospital to cancel elective surgeries in March.


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