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California hospital says cleaning practices may have caused infections

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Palomar Hospital in San Diego, California, has sent certified letters to 3,400 patients who underwent colonoscopy and other similar procedures, informing the patients that there may be a potential of infection from items used and reused in the procedures.

"Although we were disinfecting all equipment, some of the steps as recommended by the manufacturer were not always completed," hospital spokesman Andy Hoang said.

Hoang said "the risk was very, very minimal" for patients.

He said the hospital had no indication that any patients had infections caused by equipment cleaning practices. Patients were contacted as a precautionary measure, he said, and were offered free follow-up testing.

"Our approach is always to do the right thing in informing our patients of matters affecting their care, even if the likelihood of risk is low," Hoang said.