Even if a surgery appears to be successful, the issue of cross-contamination can have life-threatening impacts. Delaware patients should be aware of the risks of improperly sterilized equipment, as these surgical errors can lead to the contraction of bloodborne viruses like HIV and Hepatitis. A recent medical malpractice case has placed several patients at risk of such diseases after a hospital sterilization breach.
According to a state health department official, it was found that the process for cleaning the surgical instruments after orthopedic or spine surgeries at the hospital was inadequate. The hospital is now responsible for contacting all patients from the period of July 21, 2016 to Feb. 20, 2017 in order to advise them of the risk. Currently, the surgical error has been resolved and that current patients are not at risk.
The hospital immediately stopped using the equipment and reprocessed it as soon as the problem was reported by the health department. Additionally, the health department notes that the risk of a patient having contracting these bloodborne viruses is low. Nonetheless, the hospital is taking all precautions to inform former patients of the risk from their surgical errors and test them for related viruses.
There are many surgical errors which can take place in Delaware hospitals, but a sterilization breach may be one of the most difficult to spot. As studies reveal that more diseases may be contagious, such as recent research has suggested about Alzheimer's disease, these issues are even more critical. Those who have been victimized by medical malpractice in Delaware should contact a lawyer to discuss possible recourse.
Source: techtimes.com, "Denver Hospital Sterilization Malpractice Places Surgical Patients At Risk Of HIV, Hepatitis B, And Hepatitis C", Aaron Mamiit, April 5, 2018