"The hospital's decision to abandon steam sterilization was reckless and potentially dangerous for patients undergoing surgery at the hospital," Michael Carome, MD, deputy director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said in a statement which was sent to media outlets across the country.
After being contacted by HealthLeaders Media on Tuesday and shown Public Citizen's accusations, SMH issued a statement saying that the problem had been identified in November, reported to the state, and resolved.
"The (WY) Department of Health directed the hospital to change procedures to include steam autoclaving," the statement read. "SMH immediately implemented the new procedure, developed a procedure spreadsheet, and posted directions for the staff. The plan of correction was implemented that day and no further corrective actions were recommended by the state."
Hospital officials said they had received no reports of infections or complications related to the problem, which they suggested had been resolved.
"The medical staff executive committee based on surgery department reports and consultation with the state Department of Health believe that compliance with the state recommendations have been achieved and that any risk of infection to surgery patients prior to the change is very low," said SMH Chief of Staff John Addlesperger, DO.