WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Colonoscopy patients at Kansas medical facility to undergo testing

The Chanute, Kansas-based Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center recently alerted 244 patients who received colonoscopies that they should be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infections as a precautionary measure.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced the notification on Tuesday, which is the result of an investigation by the KDHE, NMRMC and the Neosho County Health Department. The investigation began after NMRMC found that the colonoscopies used during the patients' procedures were not disinfected and cleaned in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

The oversight occurred between January 3 and July 3 and all colonoscopy patients during that time are being notified of the matter via mail.

The KDHE said the risk of transmission in such a setting is very low, but recommends the patients get tested now and six months after their procedure date to take appropriate protective steps. HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are serious medical conditions and infected patients may not express outward symptoms for years to come.

The KDHE will conduct all testing for free. Patients may submit blood specimens at the Neosho County Health Department or the Neosho Memorial Laboratory. The NMRMC set up a special telephone hotline for patients concerned about potential exposure to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.