Blood, bone, bug found on spine surgery instruments at Denver hospital: 5 things to know


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment finalized its investigation at Denver-based Porter Adventist Hospital after discovering 5,800 spine and orthopedic patients may be at risk to infection due to improper cleaning issues, CBS Denver reports.

Here are five things to know:

1. While surgeries resumed two months ago, the CDPHE recently determined the issue was human error. The department indicated surgical instruments at the hospital were not properly scrubbed.

2. The hospital responded by explaining the difficulties of removing bone and tissue material. The hospital notified 5,800 patients and noted infection chances were low.

3. In dozens of cases instruments were coated with blood or had hair stuck to them. In the CDPHE report, officials found in 76 percent of incidents chunks of bone, blood, cement, black residue, dead bug and hair were found on instruments and surgical trays for surgeries between Jan 1, 2017 and April 2.

4. The report also found surgeries were often delayed or interrupted because of insufficient cleaning and a lack of clean equipment.

5. Porter Adventist developed a plan of action to correct the sterilization issues. The strategy includes establishing a sterilization oversight plan to ensure an accurate process, developing equipment sterilization and surgical site infection tracking data and creating workflow patterns to prevent delays.

The CDPHE will continue to monitor the hospital's compliance plan.

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