Over Two Hundred Colonoscopy Patients Accidentally Exposed to HIV in Kansas
Over 200 patients at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute, Kansas, may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
As the Chanute Tribune reports, 240 patients who had received colonoscopies in the last seven months got letters in the mail from the medical facility saying they may have contracted the deadly viruses.
In the letters, dated July 16, Neosho’s CEO Dennis Franks told patients the auxiliary water channel within three of six endoscopes used was found to be unsanitary. The water channel needs to be sterilized with each patient, and failure to disinfect the machines means patients were exposed to the viruses.
"Infection control specialists consider the risk of any infection transmission in these cases extremely low," Franks told the Chanute Tribune. "But because we cannot say the risk is zero, we are acting with an abundance of caution and recommend the notified patients receive a blood test."
He added that patients will received free screenings to see if they are infected, and those whose results are positive will have full medical treatment provided.
Let the lawsuits begin.