updated 3/31/2005 9:09:11 AM ET 2005-03-31T14:09:11

A suburban Pittsburgh hospital is urging about 200 patients who had colonoscopies during a four-month span to get tested for hepatitis and the virus that causes AIDS because the instruments may not have been disinfected adequately.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

Forbes Regional Hospital officials said the patients’ risk of exposure to a blood-borne virus was low.

The hospital contacted patients who were exposed to the instruments during colonoscopies from Oct. 28 to Feb. 26, and offered them free HIV and hepatitis screenings immediately and again in six months.

Nearly 70 patients have contacted the hospital so far, said hospital spokesman Tom Chakurda.

Staff at the Monroeville hospital’s lab discovered in February that secondary channels on two recently purchased colonoscopes might not have been adequately disinfected, the hospital said in a statement Wednesday. The auxiliary channels, which are designed to flush the colon, were not used in any of the colonoscopies performed.

Laura Tyler of manufacturer Olympus America Inc. said the Melville, N.Y., company has sent out reminder notices about the proper way to disinfect the instruments. The instruction manual is “detailed and explicit,” she said.

Tyler said she had no evidence of a “larger problem” involving the scopes. Forbes, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said similar concerns had been raised at hospitals in California and New York. CDC officials did not immediately return a call.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments