Nearly 1,200 patients exposed to possible infection at Goshen Hospital

"Stethoscope" by Jasleen_kaur, some rights reserved

GOSHEN, Ind. (WOWO): If you had surgery at Goshen Hospital this year, there is a chance that you may have been exposed to several very serious diseases, including Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and HIV.

In a press release sent out Monday, the hospital says that some surgical instruments skipped a step during the cleaning and sterilization process for a very small number of cases. They say that any exposure would have happened between April and the end of September this year.

A hospital official says they have added strict policies and additional safety measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again. There are roughly 1,200 patients that could have been exposed.

They are offering free testing for those affected.

For more information, you should contact the hospital directly.

Below is the full release:

Goshen Health recently became aware of a situation that may have impacted surgical patients at Goshen Hospital from April through September 2019. During this time, one step in a multistep cleaning process was not completed with certain surgical instruments in a limited number of cases. 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. This action has the potential of exposing a limited number of patients to the hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Even though we believe the risk to be extremely low, out of an abundance of caution, we are offering patients free testing for these viruses.

The testing is a blood draw and will be offered at a convenient location to the patients at no cost. A call center has been established and patients involved have been notified.

Upon learning of the issue, Goshen Health immediately corrected the situation. “As with any patient safety concern, we rigorously investigated all aspects around the incident,” shared Dr. Daniel Nafziger, Hospital Chief Medical Officer. “We have put strict policies and additional safety measures in place to ensure it does not happen again. We also want to express our concern for each of these patients.”

Goshen Health has responded to the situation with a series of immediate steps:

  • Conducted a thorough investigation of surgical patients potentially impacted.
  • Identified 1,182 surgical patients who may have been exposed.
  • Sent letters via mail to all patients notifying them of the issue and providing a phone number for questions and details regarding free testing.
  • Set up testing at a centralized testing center for patients. All testing is provided at no cost to patients.
  • Established a Goshen Health call center for patients to ask questions and conveniently schedule testing.

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