Lewis W. Diuguid

Kansas hospital notifying patients of possible infections

Updated: 2013-07-17T22:18:52Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

There should be no excuse for more than 240 patients in a Kansas hospital possibly being exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HIV and possibly other diseases because the scope in colonoscopies was improperly sanitized.

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute, Kan., said the potential infections occurred between January and July 3. Hospital officials said they became aware of the issue July 5, The Wichita Eagle reports.

The sanitation meltdown was described as an “oversight in training after an upgrade in equipment.” An investigation is ongoing.

Dennis Franks, CEO of the hospital, said patients were being notified by priority mail. He said infection-control specialist thought the risk of infection was low.

A colonoscopy is a exam of the large bowel and part of the small bowel, using a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women starting at age 50 begin having colonoscopies as an early detection method for colon polyps and cancer.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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