Patients at Air Force Academy clinic warned of possible contamination involving endoscopes

Posted at 7:50 AM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 09:50:19-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Officials are notifying 267 patients who underwent gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures at an Air Force Academy clinic that they might have been exposed to contaminated medical equipment.

The Veterans Affairs Department announced Wednesday an airman at the clinic skipped a step in cleaning endoscopes between June and September. The Gazette reports 61 veterans are being notified of the mistake, and the Air Force Academy is contacting another 206 patients who might be at risk of infection.

Endoscopy procedures, used to check the digestive tract for abnormalities, have been canceled.

Academy officials say the 19 scopes involved were checked and found to be free of any infectious material. But the school acknowledges there's still a risk.

The clinic opened five years ago after the Air Force and the VA agreed to pool resources.