According to a press release from Goshen Health, more than 1000 surgical patients at Goshen Hospital in Indiana may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. This happened due to an error in the sanitizing procedure for surgical equipment. The marketing specialist for Goshen Health, Liz Fisher, said that one step in a multistep cleaning process was missed by a technician who mainly contaminated the surgical equipment. Fisher added that the hospital identifies 1,182 surgical patients between April and September 2019 who may have been affected by the contaminated surgical materials. The patients who have been doubted to be exposed are sent alert through notification letters and are also offered free testing for the viruses, as stated by Fisher.
Hepatitis C is a liver infection that might lead to severe liver damage. It is caused by a blood-borne virus called hepatitis C virus (HCV). It spreads through an infected person’s blood or body fluids. This usually happens when you share needles or equipment to inject drugs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Hepatitis B is also a life-threatening liver infection caused by a blood-borne virus called hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is considered to be a significant health problem. Hepatitis B might cause chronic disease, which may put one into cirrhosis or liver cancer. When the body fluid of an affected person got passed to a non-affected person, it is mostly spread, as per the Centers for Disease Control said. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which spreads through certain body fluids that weakens one’s body’s immune system, especially the T cells.
According to the hospital’s health update by their president and chief medical officer, their sterile processing and infectious disease experts believe that the potential transmission of blood-borne viruses between patients is exceptionally remote. It is out of caution that they want to verify through lab blood tests that their patients are not being harmed. Also, a call center has been set up to ease the process of asking questions and schedule testing for patients.