VA Clinics Lawsuit
Thousands of Patients at Risk for Infectious Diseases
Thousand of Veterans at Risk for HIV, Hepatitis
Errors at 2 VA Clinics Exposed Patients to Infectious Bodily FluidsVeterans' Association (VA) hospitals nationwide are reviewing their procedures for colonoscopies, after information emerged recently that thousands of patients treated at a clinic in Tennessee may have been exposed to infectious bodily fluids from other patients. The problem was reportedly traced to the incorrect connection of a valve on a piece of equipment used in the colonoscopies. The valve was apparently incorrectly attached on April 23, 2003, but wasn't discovered until December 1, 2008.
The Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN announced that it is offering free blood tests and medical care to any patient whose medical records show that he or she had a colonoscopy at that clinic between April 23, 2003 and December 1, 2008. The clinic notified by registered mail last week 6,378 patients who could potentially be at risk for related health problems including hepatitis and HIV. According to reports, the letter sent out by the VA refers to a valve, and also tubing attached to the scope that may not have been properly disinfected.
And a VA clinic in Augusta, GA, has reported a similar problem in connection with its ear, nose and throat clinic. That clinic has notified 1,800 veterans that could be at risk for infection as a result of the equipment used not being properly disinfected. The problem at this clinic was apparently discovered as a result of an inspection done following the announcement of the problem in Tennessee.
Not surprisingly, the VA has released a statement indicating that all VA medical centers and outpatient clinics are reviewing procedures in a program called "Step Up".
In the meantime, affected patients treated at the Murfreesboro clinic are undergoing tests to determine if they have contracted HIV or hepatitis.
FEB-16-09: VA Clinic Warns of Possible Contaminant Exposure [AP NEWS: VA CLINIC WARNS OF POSSIBLE CONTAMINANT]
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