Vets Exposed to HIV,Hepatitis?

1,800 veterans may have been accidentally exposed to HIV. The error reportedly took place in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Missouri. A number of other life threatening diseases have also been named as a potential factor in the investigation. The patients were exposed to HIV through improperly cleaned dental instruments.
The John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis sent out over 1,800 letters notifying patients that they may have been exposed to the HIV virus. The time frame for the exposure is between February 2009 and March 2010. The letters state that the risk of infection is seriously low, and also offers a free screening for everyone involved.

“We deeply regret that this situation occurred and we assure you that we are taking all the necessary steps to make certain that testing is offered quickly and results communicated timely,” the letters said.
Dental assistants reportedly hand washed a number of machines before placing them into the cleaning machines. They were not supposed to pre-wash the machines before placing them in the cleaning machine. This is what reportedly caused the exposure to the dangerous diseases.
Representatives said that they were putting measures into place to ensure that a similar situation would never happen again. The VA has received harsh criticism from a number of politicians including Representative Russ Carnahan. He stated that he would like there to be a congressional investigation into the incident. Other politicians have also hammered the VA over the course of the last day.

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