July 17, 2013
Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute, Kans., announced on July 16 that more than 240 patients who underwent colonoscopies at the center might have been exposed to hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV, among other diseases, due to improper scope sanitization. Neosho Memorial Chief Executive Officer Dennis Franks said patients who underwent colonoscopies between January and July 3 might have been exposed to potential infections; the hospital did not become aware of the issue until July 5.
The hospital is sending priority-mail notifications to the 244 patients it thought might have been affected. Franks also said Neosho Memorial would cover all testing costs, as well as treatment, if anyone tested positive. The hospital plans to send blood samples from affected patients to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for testing, with results available in approximately two weeks. Franks described the situation as an "oversight in training after an upgrade in equipment," but stressed that infection control specialists thought the risk of infection was extremely low. Officials continue to investigate the situation.