Surgical instruments at Michigan hospital stained by hard water, official says

After Owosso, Mich.-based Memorial Healthcare found stains on surgical instruments, forcing some surgeries to be canceled, the hospital is switching to a reverse osmosis system for its water, according to

The hospital's sterile processing department discovered the issue the week of Oct. 28. The hospital evaluated all surgical instruments and canceled elected and scheduled surgical procedures.

"When we were going through the inspection process, we were noting the stainless steel surgical instruments seemingly had some higher level or darkening or staining," said Brian Long, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare.

The hospital is now using a reverse osmosis water system to avoid the issue, Mr. Long said.

"What we ultimately determined was the source of this [issue] was the hardness of the water in a potable water system," he said. "The water isn't unsafe, but it does contain total dissolved solids."

The hospital is advising patients who had a scheduled surgery but did not receive a phone call to follow instructions received during their pre-operative consultation.

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