Shortage of Chemical Used to Sterilize Surgical Equipment
Syracuse-area hospitals say they’re facing a shortage of a crucial sterilization product that could delay surgeries. There appears to be a major disruption in the supply chain of a biologic known as Sterrad biologic indicator made by Advanced Sterilization Products, which is used to sterilize surgical equipment and tools.
Schumer stopped by SUNY Upstate Medical University Monday to call attention to the matter and demand more accountability from the manufacturer and the FDA.
Hospital officials say they’ve never been completely without the chemical, and haven’t cut corners. But they have had to scramble and call other hospitals to see if they could share. Chief medical officer at Upstate Dr. Anthony Weiss says the problem stems from having just one supplier.
He says the concern isn’t for routine surgeries, but more about being prepared in case of a larger incident requiring multiple surgeries. Upstate is the primary trauma center for a 17 county area, so the need and risk are much higher. The company has not been forthcoming to hospitals or the FDA.