Sterilization issues prompt California hospital to reschedule surgeries

Torrance (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center voluntarily rescheduled 17 operations after state public health surveyors expressed concern about the hospital's surgical equipment sterilization process during an unannounced audit, according to the Daily Breeze.

Hospitals officials said there was no threat to patient safety.

The hospital consulted with California Department of Public Health surveyors in September during the four-day audit. On Sept. 10, the hospital immediately reprocessed all instruments scheduled to be used for surgical procedures the next day, a hospital spokesperson told the Daily Breeze.

"This act impacted the following day's surgical schedule, which resulted in 17 surgical cases being rescheduled," the spokesperson said. The hospital immediately submitted a plan of correction to the surveyors and they accepted the plans during the survey.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Torrance Memorial proactively reprocessed all surgical instruments in the following days," the spokesperson added. "While the decision was made to reprocess all surgical instrumentation, we are confident that our current practices meet all regulatory requirements and standards and no threat to patient safety exists."

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