More than 1,000 patients affected by surgical tool sanitation issue, Indiana hospital says

More than 1,000 patients affected by surgical tool sanitation issue, Indiana hospital says
Goshen Hospital is reporting that some patients could be at an “extremely low” risk of contracting viruses such as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV. (Source: WNDU/Gray News)

GOSHEN, Ind. (WNDU/Gray News) - Goshen Health patients are worried about their health after the hospital disclosed that 1,182 patients were impacted after surgical tools were improperly sterilized, WNDU reported.

“Tampering with almost 1,200 people’s lives? You just can’t let that go,” said a former Goshen Health patient who wanted to remain anonymous. The man had gallbladder surgery in August and received a letter from the hospital about the health safety scare this week.

“I just kind of shut myself out. I was depressed," he said.

The letter was sent out to certain patients who had surgery between April and September 2019. The hospital claims one of its seven surgical sterilizations technicians did not complete one step.

The hospital is reporting that some patients could be at an “extremely low” risk of contracting viruses such as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV.

“This is someone you trust. You’re supposed to have strict procedures, and finding out that they didn’t follow that? It’s unwelcomed, it’s life and death at this point, it feels like,” the patient said.

In the letter, the hospital apologized to patients, writing that it fell below its own “very high standards.”

The hospital was asked to further explain what went wrong and why it took so long to alert patients, and it hasn't answered.

“You can’t just be sorry for that. This is our lives at this point that’s being tampered with," the man said.

As a remedy, Goshen Health is offering free blood testing at its outpatient center in Goshen.

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