FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan. – As a precautionary measure, 244 patients who received colonoscopies at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center (NMRMC) between January 3 and July 3, 2013, are being alerted this week by letter that they should be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.
The notification is based on an investigation conducted by NMRMC in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Neosho County Health Department (NCHD). The investigation was initiated after NMRMC determined that the colonoscopes used during these patients' procedures were not cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Although the risk of transmission in this setting is very low, it is recommended that these patients get tested now and again six months after their procedure date in order to take appropriate steps to protect their health. Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV are serious medical conditions and infected patients may not have outward symptoms of the disease for many years.
All testing will be performed free of charge through the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories at KDHE. Patients may submit a blood specimen at Neosho Memorial Laboratory or the Neosho County Health Department. A special telephone hotline has been established at NMRMC for patients who are concerned about potential exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Concerned patients can speak with a healthcare provider by calling (620) 432-5493 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The press release from Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center is available here: NMRMC Press Release