150 hospital patients to be tested over HIV risk
P-T patients called for testing after improperly sterilized endoscope used on AIDS carrier; risk of infection "close to nil."
Examination with an endoscope [illustrative photo] Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
A failure in the sterilization of an endoscope used in the ear, nose and throat
department at Petah Tikva’s Rabin Medical Center has necessitated the
examination of 150 patients on whom it was used. One of the patients who
was examined with the tube is an HIV carrier.
The medical center said on
Sunday that management consulted with experts who recommended that all patients
on whom the endoscope was utilized be assembled and tested to determine whether
they were infected, but the possibility of the virus transfer was “close to
It decided to take the precautionary measure, the medial center
said, and will reach conclusions on what went wrong and how to correct it. In
the interim, it reported the incident to the Health Ministry.
“It is very
unlikely that someone was infected, and the relevant patients should continue
their routines,” the medical center said. Publication of the story was held up
until all 150 patients received a personal letter from hospital
Hospital associate director Dr. Boaz Tadmor told The
Jerusalem Post that such endoscopes, which are legally reused after
sterilization, were used to search for polyps and other findings in the nasal
“In this case, the sterilization was not performed completely.
As the patient came with a letter identifying him as an HIV carrier, we took
extra care, but there was a failure,” he said.
The 150 patients will be
tested so that “we will calm them down and reassure them. We will take an HIV
test now, and then again in two months. But there has not been such a case of
HIV infection in medical literature,” said Tadmor.