Following an investigation by television station KGTV, leaders at UC San Diego Health conceded their surgical department came under fire from California Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials during a routine inspection earlier this year. Finding dirty sterilization equipment and discoloration on surgical instruments, the state assigned the label “Immediate Jeopardy,” a designation reserved for hospitals with deficiencies significant enough that pateitn safety is threatened.
According to KGTV, the state’s report noted “surgical instruments were not cleaned and processed according to nationally recognized infection control standards.”
The hospital took quick action to remedy the problem, and the “Immediate Jeopardy” designation was lifted within about a day’s time. According to UC San Diego Health, no surgeries were canceled and patients weren’t specifically notified about the issue. In a statement to KGTV, hospital officials note the problems “were identified within an early phase of instrument cleaning that occurs before the actual sterilization.”
There was no indication that any patients suffered infections as a result of the shortcomings in cleanings, the hospital insists.
“In an abundance of caution, UC San Diego Health chose to reprocess (clean, decontaminate and sterilize) all surgical instruments,” the statement adds. “CDPH approved this comprehensive approach. UC San Diego Health conducted a review of surgical data before, during and after the survey.”
KGTV reports this incident is at least the eighth time in recent years that UC San Diego Health was hit with the “Immediate Jeopardy” designation.
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