Seven patients were added to a list of those advised to get HIV and hepatitis testing after being exposed to colonoscopy equipment that may not have been properly cleaned. The total number of people possibly exposed to the equipment at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center is now 71.
Patients involved underwent colonoscopies between July 17 and August 13.
The risk is considered low, but each of the patients was advised to undergo follow-up testing. So far, 58 patients have been tested and results are complete for 45 of them.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Greg McAuliffe did not reveal if any of those tests were positive.
A press release from the Medical Center says that the problem involved "only the final cleaning process used for this equipment." The hospital says it has contacted the manufacturer about the problem.
"We have been in contact with the State Department of Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the state epidemiologist, and the Center for Disease Control," Dr. McAuliffe is quoted as saying in the press release. "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."
The hospital says they stopped performing colonoscopies after the problem was discovered. The hospital says they will begin offering colonoscopies again Monday with 100 percent confidence that the problem has been corrected.
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