Approximately 160 patients may be at risk of developing a staph infection, following a North Carolina hospital’s admission that it had neglected to sterilize surgical instruments.
Although the tools were cleaned, disinfected, decontaminated and packaged, they were not sterilized, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
Medical officials say that the risk of infection is slight, as the instruments had already undergone all of the other steps of the cleaning process.
However, some patients who have been affected by the scare told the news provider they were unsettled by the news.
One woman who did not want to give her name said, "You are so vulnerable when you’re a surgery patient. You’re at their mercy. You have to believe that they are going to take good care of you."
Dr. Chuck Chima, physician advisor to infection control, said that the patients were at risk of a regular staph infection, but not the antibiotic-resistant MRSA.
According to MedicineNet.com, there are more than 30 different types of staph bacteria that can cause infections in humans, with the most common being staphylococcus aureus.