The breach may have affected patients who had orthopedic or spine surgery between July 21, 2016, and February 20.
The hospital says it is notifying people who had orthopedic or spinal surgeries between July 21, 2016 and February 20 of this year about the breach, which the hospital says could have put some patients at risk of hepatitis B or C, or HIV.
When asked how widespread the health breach is, a health department spokesperson said it was "significant", CBS Denver reports.
Surgery patients at a Denver hospital may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis as a result of contaminated surgical instruments, hospital and state health officials said. "While there is always a risk of infection during surgery, it appears there is no increased risk to current patients having surgery at Porter Adventist Hospital because of the infection control breach". No specific numbers of patients at risk was provided.
"We want to assure patients that our team immediately acted to remedy the situation".
The health department disclosed that they received the notification from the hospital on February 21.
An investigation into the hospital's disease control program is ongoing, Wolk said, but he added that in the department's most-recent visit on March 28, officials said the hospital's current practices meet standards. The hospital sent notifications to patients via mail.
"Patient safety is our top priority at Porter Adventist Hospital", read a statement from Chrissy Nicholson, a spokeswoman for Porter Adventist Hospital. They also reiterated their commitment to creating a safe environment for their patients. The hospital has since stopped using and has reprocessed all surgical equipment in question from that time period. "We remain committed to transparency, additional details will be forthcoming".
Specifically, Porter Adventist Hospital said the issue involved the "precleaning" process, which occurs before the instruments go through heat sterilization and other cleaning steps.
A security breach at the Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, Colorado, could have affected an unknown number of patients.