Hospital may have exposed orthopedic patients to HIV and hepatitis, state warns

A sterilization breach at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver may have put patients at risk for infection of HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, according to a release from the Colorado state health department.

The hospital is notifying people who had orthopedic or spine surgery between July 21, 2016, and February 20, the release said.

“The process for cleaning surgical instruments following orthopedic and spine surgeries was found to be inadequate, which may have compromised the sterilization of the instruments,” the release says.

There have been no reports of infections related to the breach and the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis is very low, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said. There is also no risk to current patients, the department said.

“We want to assure patients that our team immediately acted to remedy the situation. Recent survey results released by The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals in the United States, revealed no errors in our process or protocols,” the hospital said.

The health department said it was notified of the breach February 21. People who may have been affected have been notified by mail.