Go to VA for colonoscopy, come home with HIV…

17 06 2009

Heard about this on CBS this morning, but the article has also been discussed by Keith Kaplan over at pathtalk.org.


Credit: CBSNews.com

10,000 veterans have received a letter warning them that they may have gotten a colonoscopy with a contaminated/not properly sterilized colonoscopes.  As it turns out, inspections have revealed that fewer than half of the VA hospitals surveyed had trained their staff to properly clean the instrumentation.

As a result, 6 veterans have now tested positive for HIV, 13 for HepB and 34 for HepC!  This is astounding.  Now admittedly, some of these people may have been infected prior to their exam, but these numbers, I think, speak for themselves.

I am currently rotating at the VA in Albany, and this news has visibly shaken the staff even as far North as here.  This is very tragic news and my sympathies go out to the families effected.

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