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Cleaning error discovered at medical center

Patients who underwent an ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing since 2005 may have come into contact with a communicable disease, the medical facility announced Tuesday.

“During a review of our processes, we determined that an instrument used during urology procedures may not have been disinfected properly. While highly unlikely, there is a small possibility that some patients were exposed to a communicable disease,” according to a statement.

The risk comes from a “plastic sheath” on top of an ultrasound probe that was not disinfected according to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jack Alexander said.

Although the part was being cleaned following the original manufacturer specifications, Alexander said staff members were not told about the CDC’s higher-level disinfection recommendation until an internal audit earlier this year.

The instrument was taken offline immediately after the cleaning discrepancy was found, Alexander said.

Roughly 290 patients have had a prostate biopsy with the ultrasound since it was purchased in 2005, he added. All have been contacted by phone or mail to let them know of the potential for a blood-borne disease.

Mayo Clinic Health System recommends the affected patients get checked for disease as a precaution. All tests and follow up visits will be covered by Mayo Clinic Health System free of charge, according to a spokesperson.

For more information, patients are asked to call 1-855-816-0289.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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