SALEM, Va. — Three gynecologists who used a dishwasher to clean medical instruments at their Salem office have been fined $1,000 apiece.

The Virginia Board of Medicine ordered the fines against Drs. John Harding, Christopher Keeley and William Walsh. Media outlets report the doctors are affiliated with Salem-based LewisGale Physicians.

LewisGale says the physicians believed they were following a generally accepted practice and that no patients were harmed. The dishwasher was used exclusively for cleaning instruments.

Nearly two years ago, the doctor’s office changed the way it cleans the instruments, using an autoclave that disinfects at much higher temperatures.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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