A mistake in the sanitation process for surgical equipment may have led to the exposure of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV in over 1,000 surgical patients at an Indiana hospital.
The error occurred at Goshen Hospital.
According to Goshen Health Marketing Specialist Liz Fisher, it was found that a technician had missed a single step in the sanitation process that may have comprised the surgical equipment. She said the hospital identified the 1,182 patients affected, which had surgeries between April and September 2019.
She said notices were sent out to those individuals and were being provided with free testing for the diseases.
- Hepatitis B is a liver infection that is the result of a blood-borne virus but is spread through bodily fluids passed from someone infected with the virus to someone not infected.
- Hepatitis C is a liver infection that’s the result of a blood-borne virus that’s spread through needle sharing or sharing equipment used to inject drugs.
- HIV is a virus that weakens the body’s immune system, as it destroys the good cells that fight off infections and diseases.
According to the hospital, these affected patients are at low risk of being positive for any of the diseases, but they are offering free testing out of a copiousness of caution.
The hospital’s president and chief medical officer said the sterile processing and infectious disease experts believe the possibility of transmission to be very low, but they want to make sure through lab bloodwork that none of the patients were comprised.
The press release said a call center was set up for patients to set up testing and ask questions.