Surgical center warns patients of infection risk

Some Midstaters are concerned about a letter from their doctor that urged them to get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV after possible cross-contamination.

White Rose Surgical Associates has been in practice for 25 years. Earlier this year, the Department of Health paid a visit and discovered two of their practices were not up to standard.

The first had to do with properly cleaning a certain type of scope used to examine a patient’s intestines. The second issue was possible cross-contamination of multi-dose vials of local anesthetic.

“On occasion, there’s a patient who needs extra anesthetic and then that was the time, potentially, when sometimes the same syringe, entirely new needle but the same syringe, was used to re-access that vial,” said Dr. Daniel Henriksen, a surgeon at White Rose Surgical Associates.

Henriksen said it is very unlikely anyone was infected.

“In similar situations, they have found the risk to be about the possible transmission to be somewhere between 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 1 million,” Henriksen said.

To be on the safe side, the practice sent a letter to 1,100 patients who were potentially infected since 1998. The patients were asked to get tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. The test is being offered at no expense to patients or their insurance companies.

So far, no patients have tested positive for any diseases.

“We apologize for the discomfort and anxiety they may experience going through this process. We really do feel for them,” Henriksen said.

Health Department officials said everything is now up to code.

When the issues were discovered, White Rose Surgical immediately enhanced its procedures to be in full compliance with current nationally recognized guidelines.

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