DENVER (CBS4)– Porter Adventist Hospital will resume surgeries on a limited schedule on Thursday after putting into place a number of changes recommended by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The investigation into the infection control breach at Porter Adventist Hospital has learned of a number of patients who had surgical site infections after orthopedic or spine surgery between July 21, 2016 and April 5, 2018.
It is unknown if the infections are linked to the breach. The health department says the link may not be able to be determined. They believe the risk of getting bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B, is unknown but considered low.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was notified of the breach on Feb. 21. The department conducted an on-site survey of the infection control practices at the hospital the next day.
The hospital mailed letters on April 4 to patients who may have been put at risk.
Porter voluntarily closed its operating rooms for two reasons, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“The primary concern was with the cleaning process for surgical tools following orthopedic and spine surgeries. The other potential concern related to residue on surgical tools after sterilization. Porter reported this was potentially due to a water quality issue. As a result, water testing was conducted, and water quality at Porter was found to be well within the typical range found in drinking water.”
A reddish colored residue was found on surgical equipment that was naturally occurring. The hospital is adjusting its concentration and frequency of descaling procedures that was caused by a buildup of calcium, iron and other materials.
Water samples were examined by four separate independent laboratories. They determined the water was within safety standards.
Denver Water supplies the water to the hospital.
“Certainly we will be corroborating with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and we will be open to provide any information or data they need from us,” said
Additional Information From Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment:
Porter has established a hotline for patient questions. The phone number is 303-778-5694.
The public can call the Colorado Health Emergency Line for Public Information (COHELP) at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for general questions about surgical site infections, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. COHELP hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The public also can email COHELP at COHELP@rmpdc.org