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HRRMC resumes elective surgeries

To ensure patient safety, HRRMC announced on July 26 that it was temporarily suspending elective surgeries. The hospital resumed elective surgeries on July 30. surgical instruments

The decision to suspend elective surgeries was made after the Surgical Services staff determined that some of the surgical wraps that protect the trays of sterilized surgical instruments appeared to be compromised. The issue was discovered prior to any surgeries and no patients were involved.

The hospital immediately ordered two new autoclaves that are used for instrument sterilization, and one is already in service.

The hospital also consulted with outside experts in instrument sterilization and replaced all of the filters in the existing sterilization system and checked the pipes, water quality, and water temperature. Everything was within normal parameters.

The sterilization infrastructure has been thoroughly tested and is running normally.

"The proactive decision to shut down elective surgeries (was) a preventive measure," said Dr. Karen Johnson, director of surgical services at HRRMC. "We want to make sure we are going above and beyond the standard of care to ensure the safety of our patients."

During the suspension of elective surgeries, the hospital had sterilized packs on hand for emergency trauma surgeries and cesarean section. The procedure room remained open for colonoscopies because it uses a different process for sterilization. Pain procedures were also not impacted and continued to be scheduled in the operating room.

The Surgical Services Department has reached out to all of the patients whose surgeries were postponed to reschedule. For more information, call (719) 530-2217.