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News@noon: Dirty medical instruments; Olympic equipment

The Detroit News

Today is Thursday, August 25, 2016, and today we present to you the results of a six-month investigation into complaints of dirty, unsanitary medical instruments at the five Midtown, Detroit-area DMC hospitals.

The hospitals have struggled for years to properly clean surgical instruments, stoking doctors’ fears about patient safety. Our team looked at more than 200 pages of email exchanges and reports indicating that surgeons and staffers have complained for at least 11 years about improperly cleaned, broken and missing instruments.

Kalaya Hull-Mason, 2, hugs her father, Laron Mason. An open-heart surgery on the girl last year at Children’s Hospital of Michigan was interrupted when blood from a previous procedure was found clogging a key instrument needed in the operation.

Managers repeatedly expressed concern that discipline is overturned even when employees make mistakes. Three surgeons anonymously told The News they stopped filing complaints about dirty instruments because there is so little punishment. It’s a critical and complex task to clean the instruments and it's entrusted to sterile processing technicians who may be among the least educated and lowest-paid hospital employees. They can process as many as 15,000-20,000 surgical instruments in a day at a busy acute care hospital.

In one case we uncovered, a 7-month-old child's heart surgery had to be delayed when a pump needed to keep her alive was filled with dried blood from a previous surgery. Check out the complete report here.

Here's what else we are following today:

What's next for Mateen Cleaves

  •  A judge did not disqualify the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office from trying former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves’ alleged sex crimes case and wants the victim to testify first in district court. Judge M. Cathy Dowd denied Cleaves attorney’s motion to toss Kym Worthy’s office from the case on Thursday in a hotly debated hearing in Flint’s 67th District Court

  • Cleaves, 38, of Grand Blanc was charged in March with the alleged sexual assault of a woman after a charity golf outing Sept. 15. The incident allegedly took place at the Knights Inn motel in Mundy Township.

Felon on the loose

  • A man convicted of attempted murder is being sought today after being accidentally released by Oakland County authorities due to a records error, officials said. Johnny Rodgers, 25, — now considered an escapee — was being held in the Oakland County Jail on a writ from the state prison system on an unrelated offense of carrying a concealed weapon charge when the error occurred Wednesday night, according to Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe.

Johnny Rodgers

Woodbridge has a new resident

  • The historic Detroit neighborhood of Woodbridge has a new, high-flying neighbor: skateboard legend Tony Hawk. According to a real estate blog, Hawk bought the 1900 mansion. 

Lost and found

  •  A member of the U.S. Olympic sailing team from Detroit says he’s recovered a bag of expensive gear that was stolen from his truck after he returned to his home. Bora Gulari tells WWJ-AM that the sailing gear, worth $10,000, was still in the bag. He’s only missing some sunglasses and a cellphone.

Tornadoes in the Midwest

Two lives ended

NASCAR's roots in Detroit

A NASCAR official program from the National Convertible Circuit.

  • Did you know that Detroit played a huge role in getting NASCAR up and running?  “Detroit played a major part in getting NASCAR off the ground, as far as what we know as the Cup series,” said Buz McKim, historian of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Folks do think it was all in the southeast, and it was founded in Daytona, and a lot of the racing was in the southeast,” McKim said. “But, early on, Bill France, the founder of NASCAR, wanted to take what we know now as the Cup series as far as he could.” Get the details here

The neighborly thing to do

  • A GoFundMe campaign that started out as sarcasm has some Americans raising money to repay our neighbors to the north after an unscheduled invasion of Michiganians on Sunday. 

Detroit News at noon is a daily roundup of the most talked-about stories on For more anytime, like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterInstagram (@detroitnews), Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews") and LinkedIn