Sterilization Breach in Colorado Hospital Causes Infections
Patients who underwent an orthopedic or spinal surgery at Porter Adventist Hospital between July of 2016 and February of this year may be at risk of developing surgical site infections or blood-borne infections, including HIV and hepatitis, due to the hospital’s failure to properly sterilize surgical equipment.
The Department of Health has begun investigating complaints by physicians and patients, and has determined that that Porter Hospital’s surgical equipment was not properly sterilized for a period of 18 months. The improper sterilization places patients who have had spine or orthopedic surgery at risk of surgical site infections and serious bloodborne illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis. The lawyers at Denver Trial Lawyers ® are investigating potential claims against Porter Hospital on behalf of these patients. If you received a letter from Porter Hospital, or you or a loved one had orthopedic surgery or spine surgery at Porter in the past 18 months, it is important that you speak with Denver Trial Lawyers ® promptly.
Surgical Equipment Compromised
Hospitals are expected to sterilize all equipment thoroughly in order to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases and infections. In a statement, a spokesperson for Porter Adventist Hospital admitted: “The process for cleaning surgical instruments following orthopedic and spine surgeries was found to be inadequate, which may have compromised the sterilization of the instruments.” The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was notified of the issue on February 21, 2018, and has since opened an investigation at Porter Adventist Hospital.
Porter Hospital Temporarily Halts All Surgical Procedures
After announcing that patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to the improper sterilization of surgical equipment, Porter Adventist Hospital called a temporary stop in all surgical procedures.
Patients at Risk
Porter Adventist Hospital sent letters to all patients who may have been affected by the sterilization breach, notifying them of the potential risks. The letter informed patients that, although most symptoms of infection appear within the first few weeks after surgery, some individuals may not notice symptoms for a year. Surgical infections are serious and can lead to complications such as ongoing pain, additional surgery, or even death.
Orthopedic and spinal patients at risk of contamination were asked to look out for symptoms of infection, which include redness, pus, or pain at the surgical site.
Porter Adventist Hospital did not immediately respond when asked how many patients could have been affected.
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Were You Affected?
According to the Porter Adventist Hospital, patients who underwent orthopedic or spinal surgeries between July 21, 2016, and February 20, 2018, could have been affected by the contamination. If you had surgery during this period and you received a letter from the hospital notifying you of the potential danger, make sure you take immediate action to protect your health. All patients who could have been affected should contact LabCorp for testing. LabCorp is an independent network of clinical laboratories who will provide free blood tests for the potential victims.
During the test, LabCorp will draw several vials of blood for testing and results will be delivered within 14-20 days. There are several locations you can visit for the testing, including those outside of Colorado. For a full list of their lab locations, visit labcorp.com.
Our Firm Can Help
Denver Trial Lawyers ® is currently accepting inquiries from individuals who received letters from Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Colorado, notifying them of a potential exposure to unsanitary surgical equipment. We understand how complex and traumatizing these types of cases can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing you with the legal representation you need as you fight for justice and maximum compensation.
Contact Denver Trial Lawyers ® to discuss your medical malpractice or personal injury case with our legal team, today.