Cumberland Infirmary patients warned
Posted: August 8, 2014
Posted in: Medical Negligence
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been forced to write to 357 patients after it was found that equipment at the hospital had not been cleaned properly. The letters informed the past patients that the machines used to clean their endoscopes had not used enough disinfectant. The trust reassured the patients that the risk of infection was very low, but offered a blood test to those concerned by the finding.
An endoscope is a small tube with a camera on the end that, when inserted into the body, can retrieve video images of what is happening inside. However, seeing as the equipment was not cleaned properly, there is a very small risk that Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C could have been contracted from the endoscopes. The patients contacted by the trust were those that had undergone an endoscopy between the 20th of May and the 19th of June 2014.
Carlisle Hospital uses three machines to sterilise the endoscopes after use. However, it was found that two of these machines had not been using the correct amount of disinfectant during the cleaning procedure. The problem was discovered during routine checks of the machinery.
The case is to be investigated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Copeland’s Labour MP Jamie Reed said: “Though the risk of infection for the patients who went through this procedure during the time in question is incredibly small, it is still very concerning.”
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