advertiser banner advertiser banner
Digital Issues

Home >  E-Weekly >  January 28, 2014

Seattle Hospital's SPD Under Scrutiny

Published: January 27, 2014

Reprocessing practices at Seattle Children's Hospital are under review by state health authorities after an in-house investigation late last year revealed the inadvertent use of contaminated flexible endoscopes.

While no incidents of cross-contamination illness have been reported to date, the hospital has disclosed that 106 patients were exposed to the improperly cleaned instruments. It has offered blood tests for hepatitis B and C and HIV to patients at risk of infection.

According to news reports, a sterile processing technician discovered bioburden in a reprocessed endoscope's channel in November. A few days later, the residue was found in another scope.

"At that point in time we stopped all colonoscopies and performed an investigation and identified that we had a lapse in our cleaning processes," said Danielle Zerr, MD, MPH, the hospital's medical director of infectious disease.

Dr. Zerr attributed the dirty instruments to a breakdown in staff training. "We feel that we didn't have good systems in place to ensure training of new technicians who were coming into our system," she said.

The scopes' manufacturer has since inspected and re-evaluated the hospital's reprocessing procedures to ascertain their compliance with its cleaning guidelines. The hospital has retrained 20 staffers and has opened its doors to investigation by Washington's health department.

"This is an isolated occurrence that happened," says Dr. Zerr, "but of course that makes you think about where else you might have vulnerabilities."

David Bernard

 
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

DID YOU SEE THIS?
Video and Imaging Equipment

A One-Two Punch for Faster, Better Laparoscopy

Other Articles That May Interest You

Plastic Surgery Center Accused of Reusing Syringes

Spokane (Wash.) center disputes Heath Department's claim.

The Hard Costs of SSIs

Preventing post-op infections is more cost-effective than treating them.

Study Identifies 3 Independent Predictors of C. diff

Why you should screen asymptomatic patients at admission.