PeaceHealth reports no evidence of hepatitis, HIV exposure at Lo - KPTV - FOX 12

PeaceHealth reports no evidence of hepatitis, HIV exposure at Longview hospital

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PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview (FOX 12 file image) PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview (FOX 12 file image)
LONGVIEW, WA (KPTV) -

PeaceHealth has found no evidence of patients being exposed to hepatitis or HIV at the St. John Medical Center in Longview.

The hospital notified 260 people last month about possible exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

PeaceHealth reported Tuesday that close to 90 percent of the patients who were contacted have been tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. PeaceHealth paid for the testing.

The potential exposure involved patients who were fitted for dental devices to treat sleep apnea between Nov. 18, 2013 and Feb. 26, 2016.

PeaceHealth found that equipment used when fitting patients for dental devices went through a steam sterilization process designed to kill bacteria and viruses, however additional steps may not have always been followed correctly.

"PeaceHealth St. John immediately took measures to ensure proper sterilization of the equipment, as well as contact patients involved," according to a hospital statement.

Administrators said the likelihood of infection was extremely low, however they, "acted out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients."

"While the findings are affirming, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern this process may have caused our patients and their families," said Kirk Raboin, chief administrative officer for PeaceHealth St. John.

Patients who received a letter or were contacted by phone can still receive testing at PeaceHealth's Lakefront clinic, located at 1718 Kessler Blvd. in Longview. For more information, visit peacehealth.org/testing.

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