Sheridan Hospital looks into sterilzation mishap

Mar 22, 2012

Officials at Sheridan Memorial Hospital say they are being upfront and transparent with the Wyoming Department of Health and patients in regards to equipment that may not have been properly sterilized.

According to the Department of Health, Sheridan Memorial failed to fully sterilize a piece of surgical equipment known as a laryngeal  mask airway between May and November of last year.

Mike McCafferty is CEO of Sheridan Memorial. He says the hospital is looking into how the situation occurred.

“It appears that there were some communications that took place that aren’t clear to us,” says McCafferty.”But typically a process doesn’t change like that without a high level of communication and somehow the change was made, and once it was discovered we obviously went back and followed our policy.”

 McCafferty says the risk of viral and bacterial transmission is low and that the hospital is working toward contacting patients about actual risks.

“We’re looking to making sure that we communicate to our patients what the circumstances were and what the potential risks are that we can help them understand in a quantifiable way, and that we provide them with opportunities to understand if they have any concerns, what they can do,” says McCafferty.

McCafferty says up to 350 people may have come in contact with the equipment. He says the hospital is working with the CDC and Department of Health to reach out to patients that may have been exposed. 

In the meantime, McCafferty says patients can call the hospital with questions and concerns.