Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital contacts patients about potential disease exposure

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MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WJMN) – Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital has taken precautions to contact all Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) patients who received an ENT scope between October 16, 2017, and February 4, 2019. All affected patients were mailed a letter about the possibility of exposure to Hepatitis B, C, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Hospital officials say the ENT scope instrument used during the procedures was cleaned, but not according to exact manufacturer standards during the time period stated above. They say the cleaning process has been corrected and an investigation was completed to figure out which patients received ENT scopes during that time period.

“We looked at all the other equipment, we’ve even put in place a new policy that any new procedure or piece of equipment needs to go through a review team that includes infectious diseases and prevention, ” says Bob Crumb, Chief Executive Officer, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.

Patients have been offered free blood testing at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital. The laboratory is open 7 days a week and patients have been provided a toll-free information line to call with any questions.

“All the patients on that list should come in and get tested to rule out and set their mind at ease that they do not have any of the infectious diseases and we’ve seen that many people have responded to that already, ” continues Crumb.

Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital says it worked with a leading global expert in infectious diseases from Vanderbilt University, to advise hospital administrators on how to handle the situation.  The expert advised that there are no recorded cases of an ENT scope leading to disease transmission or outbreak. 

“The expert said that they could find no cases worldwide where this had occurred, but again we want to be transparent, we want to be open with patients and we want to make sure and rule out even the tiniest possibility,” says Crumbs.

The hospital also released the following frequently asked question forms and is referring patients to this website for more information.

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