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Wheat Ridge Regional warns of sterilization breach; 200 patients told to test for hepatitis, HIV

Posted at 9:19 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 01:11:14-04

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has suspended all medical and dental procedures at Wheat Ridge Regional Center after being notified of a sterilization breach by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

While no infections or health effects have been reported, 200 patients who have undergone a medical or dental procedure at Wheat Ridge Regional since January 27, 2015 have been advised to get tested for hepatitis C and B, as well as HIV out of an abundance of caution.

The hospital will foot the bill for the tests, CDHS officials said in a statement obtained by Denver7 on Wednesday.

Hospital officials said issues with potentially improper equipment sterilization came to light on July 31 of this year, when the CDPHE visited the center to evaluate infection control procedures.

During the visit, CDPHE officials determined that infection control procedures – in particular, instrument sterilization processes – may have been conducted improperly over the last three years.

In the statement, CDHS officials said they have stopped seeing patients since July 31, adding they are working with the CDPHE “to ensure that department-wide practices meet acceptable standards moving forward.”

Furthermore, CDHS is working with public health officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

“We have no reason to suspect that patients who had procedures done before January 27, 2015, at at risk,” a CDHS spokesperson said in the statement.

Officials said there are several ways patients can get tested. The Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML) will have blood drawing stations at the Zier Building, located at 10285 Ridge Road in Wheat Ridge; as well as the Sonada Learning Center, at 6225 Simms Street from Aug. 21 through Aug. 23. Patients may also visit the RML directly by calling (303) 552-0657 to schedule an appointment. Patients can also choose their laboratory of choice at WRRC’s expense.

The Wheat Ridge Regional Center is home to 131 intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals.