Naval Medical Center Delaying Surgeries After Finding Discrepancy in Sterilization Process

NMCSD-0324-3
NBC 7 San Diego

Naval Medical Center San Diego confirmed Monday that it is delaying some surgeries at the facility as it investigates a discrepancy found in its surgical instrument sterilization process.

The hospital's Director of Surgical Services was made aware of the discrepancy on Feb. 28, according to a statement released by the hospital Monday.

Hospital spokesperson Mike Alvarez did not confirm what exactly the discrepancy was, but confirmed that one of the hospital's Sterilization Processing sites immediately ceased operations after the discovery.

The closure of the sterilization site led to a shortage in available surgical instruments, thus forcing the hospital to delay some elected surgeries at the site, Alvarez said.

"An in depth review into the cause of the discrepancy was immediately initiated, and is nearing completion. While current evidence suggests the discrepancy was an isolated issue, presenting very low risk to patients, we are conducting an in depth review to confirm test results before returning to full instrument sterilization capacity," the statement read in part.

The shortage will not impact life-threatening surgeries done at the hospital.

Editor’s Note: Our original story stated the hospital was testing patients as part of its investigation, per information provided by a spokesperson. NBC 7 has since learned the hospital is not testing patients.

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