In a rather telling way, the VA hospitals in America’s heartland add to the evidence that for all of the country’s talk about how it values its military troops, its actions say otherwise. Contamination of surgical equipment caused an inspector to shut down St. Louis’ Veteran Affairs medical center. The same center had a sterilization scare in 2010 and another Illinois VA facility has been shutdown for major surgery since 2007.
The VA’s dental center in St. Louis is already on record as having exposed veterans to HIV and hepatitis B and C because of improperly sterilized equipment. Those events happened for 13 months in 2009 and 2010. The agency said that four people tested positive for hepatitis from the group it notified and tested and that none of those cases could be linked to the sterilization problem. Of course it could be 10 years or more before it’s known if anyone contracted HIV.
Adding to the VA region’s woes was a report that nine people died from substandard care and 10 others had questionable care that complicated their health problems.
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