Goshen Health says surgical patients may have been exposed to diseases

GOSHEN, Ind. - In a press release on Monday, Goshen Health revealed that certain surgical instruments skipped a step in a multi-step cleaning process for a limited number of cases from April through September of 2019.

These instruments were treated with chemical disinfectants and sterilized, but Goshen Hospital says that they could not determine if they were sterile before being used.

Hospital officials say that this could have exposed surgical patients to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The likelihood of infection is low, but officials are excising caution by offering free tests for people who had surgery at Goshen Hospital during the aforementioned time period.

A call center has been established and patients involved have been notified.

"As with any patient safety concern, we rigorously investigated all aspects around the incident," Dr. Daniel Nafziger said, 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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