Bone, Bugs & More Found on Medical Tools at Porter Adventist Hospital

Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver is under scrutiny after reports surfaced that surgeries at the hospital were being conducted with unsterilized medical tools. The contaminated equipment has led to a spike in infections and medical complications for surgical patients with procedures taking place between January 2017 and April 2018.

State and Federal investigators recently released their investigation findings to the public. They found that contaminated surgical tools and medical instruments were potentially used in as many as 5,800 surgical procedures during the 2017-2018 timeframe. The investigation also found that more than 75 instruments and trays currently in use were contaminated.

Some of the identified contaminants included:

  • Bone
  • Blood
  • Bugs
  • Cement dust
  • Hair
  • Unidentified dark residue

Porter Hospital staff members appear to have been aware of the contamination problem well before the official investigation. Staff members interviewed by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDHE) claimed to have seen or been aware of unclean tools. Despite this knowledge, the hospital failed to notify regulatory and safety organizations or take internal remedial actions, while continuing to subject surgical patients to potentially dangerous infections.

The CDHE cited a gross lack of oversight and inadequate staffing and training as primary causes for the contamination problem. Currently, no licensure sanctions or other penalties have been brought against Porter Adventist Hospital.