Dozens of people sued Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver on Saturday, a year after the Colorado hospital said reported “breaches” in sterilization procedures involving surgical instruments may have put patients at risk of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
Many of the 67 patients and 20 spouses who filed the lawsuit have said the infections they suffered led to serious pain.
“This is not about money, it’s about Porter not doing this to anybody else,” Michael Pitcock, one of the plaintiffs who developed an infection after a knee replacement four years ago, told The Denver Post. “This should be preventable.”
Centura Health, which operates the hospital, did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The lawsuit detailed the Denver hospital’s alleged missteps in cleaning equipment sufficiently, triggering “hundreds of severe infections.” The infections, which dated back to 2015, have caused at least one death, the newspaper reported.
Back in April 2018, the hospital acknowledged issues with sterilizing equipment. However, it reportedly downplayed the frequency with which the equipment got close to patients. “We have not seen a bump in our overall totals or infection rates,” Dr. Patty Howell, Porter’s chief medical officer, told The Denver Post at the time.
The hospital reportedly sent around 5,800 letters that year warning patients who’d had orthopedic or spine surgeries in the previous two years that they were at risk for contracting Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV.
An investigation reportedly found 76 instances of surgical instruments and trays contaminated by items including chunks of bone, cement, blood and in one case, a dead insect. The findings spanned 2017 and early 2018, the newspaper added.