bc-091028-bc-surgery

Victoria General hospital says about 500 patients might have come into contact with dirty endoscopes used to examine the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. ((CBC))

The Vancouver Island Health Authority says about 500 patients might have come in contact with dirty endoscopes, used to examine the liver, pancreas and gallbladder.

The regional health authority has written to the patients who had endoscopic procedures at Victoria General Hospital between June 2008 and January 2010 to inform them of the problem, said spokeswoman Shannon Marshall.

Those patients have been told they can have a screening done to check for potential blood-borne viral infections that might have been caused by the dirty scopes.

Hospital officials will release more details at a news conference Thursday afternoon, said Marshall.