DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Patients who suffered infections after undergoing surgery at a Denver hospital are suing over its sterilization practices. The lawsuit filed Saturday by 67 patients and 20 spouses alleges that Porter Adventist Hospital’s failure to properly clean its equipment caused “hundreds of infections” as far back as 2015 and at least one death.

(credit: CBS)

Last April, the hospital revealed it had had problems with cleaning its instruments. It temporarily shut down its operating room but downplayed the risk of infections.

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Porter Adventist Hospital Required To Submit Sterilization Reports After Health Scare

The Denver Post reports that a state investigation found that the hospital knew more surgical patients were developing infections by early 2017. However, the state’s chief medical officer Tista Ghosh said the state never conclusively linked infections to the sterilization problems.

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The hospital said Monday it will address the allegations in court and that it meets the state’s sterilizations guidelines.

Porter Adventist Hospital released this statement Monday afternoon:

“We acknowledge the concern of these patients and are aware of existing lawsuits stemming from a review by CDPHE of the pre-cleaning process of surgical instruments prior to sterilization which was identified in February 2018. To protect the privacy all involved, we will be addressing this matter through the legal process which is underway. As an outcome of the CDPHE investigation, we continue to provide reports to CDPHE that confirm Porter Adventist Hospital continues to meet the sterilization process guidelines of CDPHE.”

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(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)