Contaminated colonoscopy equipment causes HIV scare in Alamosa
San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (slvrmc.org/)
ALAMOSA, Colo. — Over 60 people may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis after medical devises used to perform colonoscopies tested positive for bacteria at a southern Colorado hospital, according to a report.
The Pueblo Chieftain is reporting that 47 patients have been tested so far after receiving colonoscopies from the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, which has identified 64 patients who may have been exposed.
Those individuals received a colonoscopy between July 17 and Aug. 13 and are now being asked to get tested for hepatitis B, C and HIV. The medical center insists that the risk for infection is low.
“We have been in contact with the State Department of Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the state epidemiologist and the Center for Disease Control,” the hospital said in a statement. “They concur that there is low risk to patients of health issues as a result, but we want to take every precaution and remove all doubt.”
A recently-installed automated machine used to clean colonoscopy instruments is being blamed for the contamination. When tested on Aug. 13, some devices were found to contain E. coli.
The hospital will have registered nurses standing by for concerned patients from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to answer questions. The number for that hotline is 719-496-6682.