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05/12/09   |   By

Tainted Equipment at VA Hospitals Cause HIV Infections | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

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Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

Former patients at several Veterans Administration Hospitals have been tested positive for HIV or hepatitis following exposure to dirty medical equipment.  According to a recent report at Chron.com, “[f]ive patients have tested positive for HIV and 33 have tested positive for hepatitis since February, when the VA started notifying more than 11,000 people treated at three VA medical centers to get follow-up blood checks because they could have been exposed to infectious body fluids.” The specific VA hospitals involved are located in Miami, Fla., Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga.

The VA determined last December that its equipment used for colonoscopies and ear, nose and throat procedures “was either not properly cleaned or set up”, states the report.  Despite the medical errors, Dr. Jim Bagian, the VA’s chief patient safety officer, boldly proclaimed that patients will never be able to prove that they were infected by the tainted equipment, the report comments. Congress is not satisfied with this statement and wants more information.

Senior partner Salvatore Zambri has handled many cases involving patients becoming infected with HIV as a result of medical errors.  There are clear standards that apply to hospitals governing the sterilization of medical devices and products.  If these procedures are not followed, the consequences can be severe.

For information about your legal rights, please click here to contact Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC or call at (202) 463-3030.

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