A hospital in greater South Bend, Indiana, revealed earlier this week that 1,182 of its patients may have been exposed to the hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV viruses by potentially contaminated surgical equipment. Goshen Hospital, which is in Elkhart County, said that patients undergoing surgery at the hospital between April and September of this year are in the group at risk.
Goshen Hospital released a statement explaining that its technicians failed to complete a necessary step in a multi-step surgical instrument sterilization process in a “limited number of cases,” which raises the risk of infection even though other sterilization methods were completed.
“The surgical instruments in question were still treated with other usual chemical disinfection and machine sterilization processes which include a wide margin of safety; however, we are not able to determine if such instruments were completely sterile prior to use,” the hospital said in a statement. “This action has the potential of exposing a limited number of patients to the hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus.”