Hospital patients at small risk for infection

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CHANUTE, Kansas — A medical test designed to keep people healthy may have put hundreds of Kansans at risk for infection.

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center is notifying patients who had a colonoscopy at the hospital between January 3 and July 3 that they need to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

A hospital spokesperson says the endoscopes used in the procedure were sanitized each time, but not flushed, as recommended by the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

“All scopes were immersed in a sterilizing agent, but because the risk is not zero, we are recommending people be tested,” said Patricia Morris.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also characterizes the risk of infection as miniscule, but because symptoms may not show up for six months, state health officials say patients should be tested.

Anyone who might have been exposed should call the KDHE at 877-427-7317 to schedule a test.

The phone call and testing are free.

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