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350 Call York Hospital About Bacteria Exposure

From York Daily Record –  

William Acker had aortic valve replacement surgery at York Hospital in March 2014.

He’s one of 1,300 who received a letter this week from the hospital explaining that some open-heart surgery patients could have been exposed to bacteria during their operations.

His wife, Charla Acker, is frustrated with the way the hospital communicated the information to its patients. She’s worried and she said she feels like she’s not getting many answers from the hospital.

Acker found out about the issue from a TV newscast and later found a letter from York Hospital waiting at home.

The letter, which the hospital sent to 1,300 of its open-heart surgery patients, said that they could have had exposure to bacteria during their procedure between Oct. 1, 2011, and July 24, 2015, according to a news release sent by the hospital Monday.

Read more about the York Hospital bacteria investigation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated and shared its findings with the hospital Oct. 15 that eight probable cases were found. Four of those patients, who all had complex medical conditions, have since died, according to the release. The CDC hasn’t directly linked the deaths to the infections, but the news release says it is likely a contributing factor.

Current patients are no longer at risk of exposure, according to the letter sent to patients.

More than 350 calls have been made to the nurse call center that was set up Monday morning, said Brett Marcy, hospital spokesman. About 80 percent of calls have come from patients who have received the letter. The other 20 percent hadn’t received the letter but just wanted to know more about the issue.

WellSpan’s cleaning protocols for devices used in these procedures “did not align perfectly with the original guidelines provided by the device manufacturer,” according to the letter sent to patients.

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