Surgeries stopped at San Antonio hospital

Brooke Army Medical Center, inside San Antonio Military Medical Center, has cancelled and postponed elective surgeries.

SAN ANTONIO - Surgeries have stopped at one of San Antonio's biggest hospitals. Brooke Army Medical Center, inside San Antonio Military Medical Center, has

This weekend, the San Antonio Express-News reported that there have been dozens of cases where dirty surgical tools have been found in the hospital's operating rooms, resulting in the

The hospital, though, isn't being specific.

In a statement released to KENS 5, hospital leaders say that there's been an increase in demand for surgeries at BAMC. As a result, leaders are evaluating staffing, required equipment, space needs, and processes to meet the demand.

Right now, elective surgeries have been canceled or postponed as a result.

"We wanted to be proactive about ensuring we are 100 percent able to meet the additional requirements with the safety and high quality standards our patients expect and deserve," said Col. Douglas Soderdahl, deputy commander for Surgical Services.

Hank Balch, president of the South Texas Association of Sterile Processing Services, says that dirty surgical equipment is more common than you think. He says that more complex, minimally invasive robotic instruments that are hard to clean are partially to blame.

"We're talking about very complex, high-tech instruments that have to be taken apart many times," Balch explained.

So how you can make sure your doctor is using clean equipment?

"There is no place that you can go today to find out the safety of surgical instrumentation at a particular facility," said Balch, whose group is pushing for state leaders to require certification for employees responsible for sanitizing surgical equipment.

Nationwide, only four states have these sorts of requirements.

BAMC officials say that this reduction in surgery does not affect trauma patients or any urgent procedures. Patients who have questions about their delayed surgeries should contact their surgeon.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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