Baystate Medical Center is warning dozens of patients that they could be at risk for illness following possible improper cleaning of medical equipment.
A letter was sent last week to 49 patients who underwent bowel surgery.
The patient Western Mass News spoke to received a letter from Westfield’s Baystate Noble Hospital back in 2016, informing him he could be at risk for a multitude of infections, including HIV.
Now two years later, another 49 patients were sent similar letters about a possible mishap here at Springfield’s Baystate Medical Center.
Western Mass News first met Robert Corchinski in January 2016, when he received a letter from Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, a letter that told him he could be at risk for infection following a colonoscopy he had gotten three years prior.
“They wanted me to come to the hospital for a blood check.”
Ultimately, his results came back clean, but Corchinski was one of nearly 300 patients who received that letter in 2016.
Now two years later, Baystate Health is dealing with a similar risk again, sending out letters to 49 patients, telling them a piece of colonoscope equipment may not have been cleaned properly.
The statement reads:
“We identified one occasion on which a single water flushing channel on a colonoscope had not been cleaned properly. On January 26, 2018 we notified 49 patients that had bowel surgery at Baystate Medical Center that we could not determine with certainty that the water flushing channel on the colonscope used in their surgery had been cleaned properly. While our clinical team believes the risk to patients was extremely low and we have no basis to believe this issue has caused any illness to any patient, we have offered precautionary testing to all of these patients.”
“I was 69 at the time. I’m retired, I’m 71 now. If you’re older, the stress for some of these people. It’s like they can’t handle it, you know?”
Attorney Robert Ditusa’s firm represents 60 people in a claim against Baystate Noble Hospital for emotional distress from that letter.
“For having gone through what they went through, which was having an unclean colonoscope used in a procedure that they had. In addition to that, they had emotional stress related to receiving a letter.”
Ditusa told Western Mass News that he believes there is no excuse for this happening at Baystate Medical Center, when they were already aware of what happened at Noble in years prior.
“It seems like what you have is a real systems problem over at Baystate. Improper supervision, improper training, improper oversight.”
A spokesperson for the hospital declined to answer any follow-up questions about the situation.
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