100 children at Seattle Children’s Hospital at risk for infection after colonoscopy

Seattle Children’s hospital has notified the parents of 100 children that their child may be at risk for infection after the hospital discovered that some equipment used in colonoscopies was not properly sanitized.

Citing a “cleaning process lapse,” the hospital’s medical director Dr. Danielle Zerr, said that the risk of infection was low but that the hospital is recommending screen for hepatitis B and C and HIV which are infectious diseases..

The patient calls came after a “cleaning process lapse” was discovered on two auxiliary channel scopes according to The Seattle Times. Apparently technicians were not properly trained in cleaning procedures.

Patients who underwent colonoscopy testing prior to early November should contact the hospital’s information line at 206-987-5193.

It may be of little comfort to parent’s whose children may have been exposed to a potentially serious disease that the chance of infection is “low.”

One study of five hospitals nationwide found that 3 of 20 endoscopes used in colonoscopy exams were contaminated with fecal matter from previous patients. Any biological material on equipment such as an endoscope which is inserted into the rectum can pass on infection such as hepatitis and HIV.

Colonoscopies are procedures that most people dread regardless of age. Not only is the preparation for the exam not very pleasant but the thought that equipment is not 100% sterile is frightening.

One factor in non-sterile endoscopy equipment is the nature of many colonoscopy clinics. Clinics often schedule one patient after another and this puts stress on the staff to completely sanitize equipment in preparation for the next patient. One solution to this problem is for the clinic to purchase sufficient equipment.

Hospital-acquired infections are a concern for any patient . Failure to wash hands, failure to control the spread of microorganisms in sinks and wash basins, contaminated surgical instruments and failure to properly dispose lab waste can all result into a hospital-acquired infection.

Bellevue Hospital Infection Lawyer

Herbert Farber, the founder of The Farber Law group, is a Washington hospital infection attorney with 40 years experience in medical malpractice claims. Call our office to evaluate the circumstances of your injury or a loved one’s death after a hospital-acquired infection.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.

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