Hospital: Improper disinfections may have exposed patients

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A western Massachusetts hospital has notified its patients that the scopes used in their colonoscopy procedures may not have been properly disinfected.

Springfield-based Baystate Noble Hospital said Friday that nearly 300 patients who had colonoscopies between June 2012 and April 2013 are at risk of having been exposed to blood-borne pathogens during their procedure.

The potential exposure is due to a lapse in disinfection procedures. Noble Hospital began using new colonoscopy equipment in June 2012, which required a different approach to disinfection than instruments used previously.

The Republican reports the patients have been told that they should be screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Spokesman Benjamin Craft says Baystate will offer screenings for free.

Baystate’s head epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Haessler says the risk of infection is low.

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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