Representatives from Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, Calif., have reported an endoscope used in colonoscopies at the hospital has not been properly disinfected over the past seven years, according to a Napa Valley Register report.
Manufacturers' disinfection instructions dictated the scope be hand washed after each use and then placed in a bath of sanitizing solution. The scope was not soaked at the proper temperature, according to the report. Scopes at the hospital's outpatient center were not affected.
The scope in question was used in 5,000 patient cases since 2008. Hospital leadership says the risk of infection for these patients remains low, but the hospital will be notifying affected patients and offering a free blood test.
The lapse in disinfection processes was discovered during a routine review, according to the report. The hospital's investigation into how the issue went unnoticed for so long is ongoing.