SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco hospital has asked nearly 200 patients to get tested for HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases after it failed to properly sterilize equipment.
California Pacific Medical Center sent letters earlier this month to 198 patients who underwent procedures between July 2010 and February 2014 at its California Street campus using one of three pieces of equipment: a rigid bronchoscope, laryngoscope or esophagoscope.
The instruments are used to examine lungs and the digestive tract. Hospital officials say they were washed by hand and put through a decontaminator that reaches temperatures over 200 degrees. But they were not subjected to the final step in the process, which involves steaming.
Hospital spokesman Dean Fryer says the possibility that patients contracted diseases because of the omission are slim. State officials are investigating the failure.