Officials at the Hennepin County Medical Center are telling more than 2,500 patients that they may be at risk for an unknown infection because a medical scope wasn't properly cleaned.
The hospital says people who underwent endoscopic ultrasound gastrointestinal exams are affected, but that the situation does not involve endoscopes used for more routine screenings and colonoscopies. The procedure is a specialized type of gastrointestinal procedure that uses an endoscopic ultrasound to view and treat areas in a abdomen.
They say the cleaning instructions for the instrument used in the procedure were incomplete, and part of the instrument may have not been properly sterilized for nearly three years.
HCMC chief nursing officer Kathy Wilde said the problem came to the attention of federal regulators last week.
"In working with the CDC and other experts in the field, they told us that there was a remote risk, in fact very remote, so it's unlikely that patients would have got any type of infection," Wilde said.
Hospital officials say they don't think any testing is necessary, but they wanted to tell patients about the problem. They're asking anyone who had the procedure and has questions to call the hospital in Minneapolis.