Surgeries set to resume at Porter Adventist Hospital after sterilization breach

DENVER -- Porter Adventist Hospital plans to resume surgeries on a limited basis Thursday after a sterilization breach that might have lasted nearly two years.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found a number of patients who had orthopedic or spine surgery between July 21, 2016 and April 5, 2018 suffered from surgical site infections, the hospital said.

"It is unknown if these infections are linked to the breach, and we may not be able to determine linkage," hospital spokesman Mark Salley said.

Patients might have also been put at risk of getting HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

However, the Department of Public Health was not able to determine if any cases of those diseases are linked to the breach, according to the hospital.

Last week, the hospital announced it had paused all surgeries.

"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," Salley said.

"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."

The Department of Health's investigation is ongoing. A report is expected in early summer.

Porter has a hotline for patients with questions at 303-778-5694.

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