Maryjo Szada, a Steelton physician has been temporarily suspended after health officials found her medical equipment lacking proper sterilization and her record keeping in a state of disarray.
The suspension was bought about by the Members of the state Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) and the state Department of Health (DOH). The Health inspectors who visited Szada’s office found the conditions there to be unsanitary and hazardous to the health of the patients. The inspectors were shocked when they found clinic sink filled with seven dirty metal speculums. According to the court papers, Szada acknowledged that the dirty speculums had been in the sink for nearly a week without being sterilized. She added that she used Lysol liquid floor cleaner and Lysol spray to disinfect the medical equipment, including the vaginal speculums.
According to the minimum standards set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for high-level disinfection for semi-critical instruments, such as vaginal speculums Lysol cannot be used as it doesn’t even match the minimum standards required.
The State officials added that at least for the past year, Szada used Lysol alone to disinfect her medical equipment. The investigation revealed that Szada would reuse the metal speculums on different patients after disinfecting with Lysol spray which failed to meet the minimum CDC disinfection standards. Szada also confessed that she did not have an autoclave in her office to sterilize medical equipment.
To make matters worse, Szada’s patient records lacked details that were the board’s minimum record keeping requirements. She relied on memory rather to treat patients and didn’t bother keeping records of the patients.
During the investigation, the state officials found that the refrigerator that was supposed to store medication also had a sample of urine in it. On a table in Szada’s examination room, there were five specimens; one of a one STD test, three pap smears and one marked “right groing.”. None of the specimens had proper identifying information.
According to Szada the samples and specimens were sitting around for several days, and she was clueless as to which patients the samples belonged to. The State officials confirmed that Szada was lax and sometimes took several months to review outside laboratory and test results and schedule follow-up appointments with patients. there were instances where the patients called to complain and only then would Szada review test results until, and at times she would fail to inform the patients of test results.
State officials in their order stated that Szada’s continued practice as a medical physician and surgeon would put public health and safety at risk. Szada who also served on the Steelton Borough Council has been ordered to surrender her wallet card, registration certificate and wall certificate to the state and a preliminary hearing was scheduled.
Szada went back to court to attend a closed-door hearing with the aim to get her license back. She claimed that she took part in a training for proper cleaning and office keeping and if her license is reinstated, she would also get an infectious control consulting firm to monitor her office.