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Jefferson Discovers A Protocol Breach That Could Have Led To Infections In 51 Patients

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  —  Jefferson University Hospital has contacted 51 patients who received an intestinal procedure there, to warn them that contaminated water was used on the instruments left them open to possible infection with hepatitis or H I V viruses.

The hospital says, so far, there’s no sign of actual infection but they’re continuing to monitor the patients.

Jefferson’s chief medical officer, Dr. Geno Merli, says it was a “breach in protocol.”

A technician failed to throw out rinse water used to clean the forceps that snip tissue samples from the intestines for biopsy.

He says the water was re-used for about 4 weeks so everyone who had the procedure was contacted and 48 have been tested.
We did not have anyone who had HIV, hep B or hep C Dr. Merli says,  they’ll be retested in six weeks, three months and six months to be 100 percent sure they remain virus free.

He says the hospital also instituted measures to make sure it never happens again.
We are really very sorry this happened, Merli says, we want to apologize to the public, our patients
Jefferson also waived charges for the patients.

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