DENVER — Six days after announcing surgeries were being suspended, Porter Adventist Hospital said in a statement they are resuming surgeries beginning Thursday.
Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said Porter Adventist has instituted a number of changes suggested to them by CDPHE during an ongoing investigation of an infection control breach.
The state health department was notified of the breach at the hospital on Feb. 21. An on-site survey of infection control practices was conducted at Porter Adventist Hospital Feb 22, according to Wolk.
On April 5, the hospital voluntarily suspended surgeries due to concerns about the hospital's cleaning process of surgical tools in orthopedic and spine surgeries and about residue left on surgical tools after sterilization.
Initially, CDPHE reported staff members had "noticed a potential change in our water quality relative to our surgical equipment."
Water testing showed the hospital's water quality was well within the typical range of drinking water, Wolk says.
Patients who underwent orthopedic or spine surgeries at Porter Adventist Hospital between July 21, 2016, and April 5, 2018, have been told an “inadequate” sterilization of surgical instruments may have put them at risk for hepatitis and/or HIV.
PREVIOUSLY | Porter Adventist Hospital pausing all surgeries
While there is no evidence as of April 5 to believe any patient was infected, the CDPHE reports a disease control investigation is ongoing.
Wolk said his department may not be able to determine if any cases of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are linked to the breach.
The hospital has released an FAQ for anyone concerned. Find it at this link.
"The risk of harm from this incident continues to be unknown, but it is thought to be low," Wolk wrote in a news release last week.
On April 4, Porter Adventist staff began mailing letters to patients who visited the hospital between July 21, 2016, and April 5, 2018. The notification only impacts those who underwent orthopedic or spine surgeries, according to the health department
"We understand that this information may cause concern, and are working closely with our patient care team, doctors and staff to ensure any patients involved have the information and resources they need," Chrissy Nicholson, Porter Hospital spokesperson, said in a press release.