The St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center has suspended all surgeries after a routine inspection revealed possible contamination of surgical trays and instruments.
St. Louis VA center cancels all surgeries out of contamination concerns
In a written statement, RimaAnn Nelson, medical director of the 273-bed hospital, confirmed the episode and said spots and stains were observed on surgical equipment on Feb. 2, before any of the day's scheduled surgeries had taken place.
"These concerns were caught before any patients were operated on, and this serves as an example of the medical center's heightened patient precaution systems at work," Nelson said in the statement.
This lapse is the latest in a series of safety and sterilization issues at the hospital. Last summer, more than 1,800 patients were put at risk of infection after improper cleaning of medical equipment in the hospitals' dental clinic. And in 2009, more than 10,000 veterans were notified that they may have been exposed to infection because of improperly sterilized endoscopic equipment.
Nelson did not provide a time frame for when the hospital will once again begin performing surgeries.
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