Today, officials at the Department of Veteran Affairs are expected to face a congressional panel and discuss how errors at three Southeastern hospitals may have exposed thousands of patients to infectious diseases.
Since February, the VA has been warning approximately 10,000 former patients to get tested for HIV and hepatitis. As of last week, six of those veterans had tested positive for HIV, 13 tested positive for hepatitis B, and 34 tested positive for hepatitis C. The VA’s chief patient safety officer says no one will ever know if those patients became infected as the result of improperly operated or cleaned endoscopic equipment used in colonoscopies at Miami and Murfreesboro and that the mistakes were human error.
According to a lawyer who is representing many of the affected VA patients, it is “hard to describe the upheaval and injury this has caused innocent veterans.”
Hearing to air VA explanation of hospital mistakes, Associated Press, June 14, 2009
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