Statement regarding Porter Adventist Hospital

April 4, 2018
Statement from Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer, regarding an infection control breach at Porter Adventist Hospital
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is working with Porter Adventist Hospital, which is notifying people who had orthopedic or spine surgery there between July 21, 2016 and Feb. 20, 2018. The notification is about an infection control breach that may have put some orthopedic or spine surgery patients at risk for surgical site infections or for hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. The process for cleaning surgical instruments following orthopedic and spine surgeries was found to be inadequate, which may have compromised the sterilization of the instruments.
The department is not aware of any patient infections related to the breach at this time.
The risk of surgical site infection related to this event (above the usual risk related to surgery) is unknown. The risk of getting HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C because of this issue is considered very low.
The state health department was notified of the breach Feb. 21. The department conducted an on-site survey of infection control practices at Porter Adventist Hospital Feb. 22. A disease control investigation is ongoing. The department last visited the hospital March 28, confirming that current infection-control practices meet standards.
Porter Adventist Hospital stopped using and reprocessed all surgical equipment in question Feb. 20. While there is always a risk of infection during surgery, it appears there is no increased risk to current patients having surgery at Porter Adventist Hospital because of the infection control breach.
On April 4, Porter Adventist Hospital mailed letters to patients who may have been put at risk. People who had orthopedic or spine surgery at Porter between July 21, 2016 and Feb. 20, 2018 can contact Porter Adventist Hospital.