Aspen Valley Hospital suspends elective surgeries over sterilization issues

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Since Thursday night, elective surgeries at Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital have been suspended due to problems with the facility's sterilization process, reports The Aspen Times.

Hospital workers noticed extra moisture in the surgical packs last week, which prompted sterilization concerns. The problem was attributed to a mechanical issue with the hospital's steam sterilization process. Out of an abundance of caution, the hospital suspended elective surgeries until the issue is resolved.

The hospital is still conducting emergent surgeries with its small supply of untainted surgical packs.

"We have very tight monitoring in place for moisture content, and if it is slightly elevated, we can't have moisture in a sterilized pack," Aspen Valley CEO David Ressler told The Aspen Times. "We immediately suspended any surgeries using those packs. We couldn't put them into our inventory and we decided to suspend surgeries in general."

While Mr. Ressler initially thought the problem would be fixed by Saturday morning, engineers are still working to fix the issue. 

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