John Cochran VA Medical Center May Have Exposed Vets to HIV
The John Cochran VA Medical Center May Have Exposed Almost 2,000 Veterans to Diseases Such as HIV and Hepatitis
Due to a failure to clean dental instruments in the correct manner, this Missouri VA hospital could have passed on life-threatening diseases such as HIV and hepatitis to almost 2,000 war veterans. The vets had visited the center for some dental work and now Rep. Russ Carnahan tells CNN that they have all received a letter saying they could have contracted HIV or hepatitis B or C. He has also sent a letter to President Obama.
"This is absolutely unacceptable," said Carnahan, a Democrat from Missouri. "No veteran who has served and risked their life for this great nation should have to worry about their personal safety when receiving much needed healthcare services from a Veterans Administration hospital."
Some of the hospital staff apparently washed the dental tools by hand before putting them in the cleaning machines and this could lead to contamination as they are only supposed to be put straight in to the machines to be cleaned.
Dr. Gina Michael, the association chief of staff at the John Cochran Division said that this practice had been going on from February 2009 to March 2010.
"I can only imagine the horror and anger our veterans must be feeling after receiving this letter," Carnahan said. "They have every right to be angry. So am I."
For anyone who is infected, the hospital has set up education centers and a special clinic but many feel that is not enough.