The Union Recorder

Top Stories

May 1, 2013

456 colonoscopy patients warned of infection risk

ATLANTA — An Atlanta surgery center is warning 456 patients that their colonoscopies might have put them at risk of HIV and other diseases.

Piedmont Healthcare has advised the patients that they should be tested for HIV as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The concerns involve surgeries at Piedmont West Surgery Center on Howell Mill Road between May 2011 and mid-April of this year.

Piedmont said no patient has reported problems.

"As scary as it sounds, statistically the risk of transmission from something like this is actually quite remote," Dr. Leigh Hamby, Piedmont's chief medical officer, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/102LDZh).

"It's a big deal to patients getting these letters because it is potentially very frightening and starts making you think, "What if, oh my gosh, this could be a life-changing event,'" Hamby added. "I think the risk of that happening is going to be extremely low."

Piedmont said the surgery center staff cleaned the endoscopy instruments with enzymatic soap after each use. However, officials said the staff failed to perform the final recommended step of soaking the equipment in a high-level disinfectant.

The problem was discovered by a doctor who observed the cleaning practices at Piedmont West and questioned them, Hamby said.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control receives several reports a year of patients being exposed to endoscopes that were not properly sanitized, said Joseph Perz, a CDC health care epidemiologist.

The largest such case involved the Veterans Administration, in which more than 10,000 patients between 2004 and 2009 received colonoscopies with improperly cleaned equipment at numerous facilities.

Perz said there is an awareness that such cases can lead to infections.

"I think it says something for the institutions here that they are recognizing the error and trying to do right by patients," Perz told the Atlanta newspaper.

Piedmont had set up a special phone line for affected patients to call and has already begun screening them at no charge.

Click here to subscribe to The Union-Recorder print edition. http://tinyurl.com/6qdm4oj

Click here to subscribe to The Union-Recorder e-edition. http://unionrecorder.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

1
Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success