Over 300 women who have received care at the Riviere-du-Loup hospital will have to undergo medical testing because a medical tool was incorrectly sterilized over a period of six years. 

The 312 women will have to go in for precautionary blood tests to see if they have contracted HIV, hepatitis, or other diseases.

They also need to take Pap tests.

Their risk for infection is one in 100,000.

The equipment in question is a burn-out tool for potential ailments like abnormal cells on the uterus cervix. 

They were improperly cleaned between Jan. 1, 2011 and Nov. 15, 2017. 

The hospital had been washing the equipment with wipes, instead of dousing it in cleaning liquids.

Dr. Jean-Christophe Carvalho, Director of Professional Services at CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent, said this type of situation is rare.

It was alerted by the equipment’s manufacturer about the wrong cleaning method.

"In this situation, the company started a way of disinfecting it," he said. "In 2017, they worked with Health Canada and sent us a note about changing the disinfection."

Carvalho said that the new cleaning method would kill more bacteria and viruses.

"[Wiping the devices] isn't as intensive as letting them soak in a liquid and letting them soak for 10 to 15 minutes," he said. "This is a much more advanced way of disinfecting the equipment. We call it 'high-level disinfection.' It's much more effective and efficient."

The hospital said that the blood tests would cost approximately $7,700.