Hepatitis Outbreak Due to Contaminated Colonoscopy Equip. at VA Clinics

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By: AboutLawsuits | Published: March 30th, 2009

As a result of colonoscopy problems at Veteran Affairs (VA) medical centers in Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, at least 10 people have tested positive for Hepatitis after they were exposed to contaminated equipment during their examination.

Thousands of veterans have been urged to obtain blood test after it was found that endoscopic equipment used to perform colonoscopy exams at clinics in Murfreesboror, TN, Augusta, GA and Miami, FL may not have been properly sterilized between patients, potentially increasing the risk of infection.

The Department of Veteran Affairs confirmed on March 27, 2009, that at least 10 people have tested positive for an infectious liver disease after being treated at one of the clinics. Six of the cases involved Hepatitis C, a potentially fatal viral infection that can cause permanent damage to the liver. The other four cases involved Hepatitis B, a milder form of the disease with symptoms like jaundice.

In February 2009, the VA sent letters to about 6,400 patients who had undergone a colonoscopy between April 23, 2003 and December 1, 2008 at Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, near Nashville.

The same month, another 1,800 letters were sent to patients treated at an ear, nose and throat clinic at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia between January 2008 and November 2008.

As a result of subsequent reviews of practices at VA medical centers throughout the United States, another letter was sent earlier this month to 3,260 patients who underwent a colonoscopy at the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System between May 2004 and March 12, 2009.

All of these letters have recommended that individuals obtain blood tests for hepatitis, HIV and other infectious diseases.

The VA colonoscopy problems appear to have been caused by human mistake, leading VA Medical Centers throughout the United States to institute special training sessions.

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There Are 8 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. People who are guilty in spreading that disease have to be executed. Because of their malpractice many people are going to die.

  2. [...] the VA clinic infection problems were identified, safety procedures at all facilities throughout the United States have been [...]

  3. i was also infected with hep c at the va hospital due to neglegence.

  4. i have reason to believe i may have been a victim in the mass contamination that took place here in vegas… i never received a letter because i moved shortly after the exposure… i have been suffering from a multitude of symptoms since the va sent me to one of those centers… the doc at the va did not answer when i asked her if my condition may be related to my endoscopy back then and i can’t seem to find anyone to direct me to a list or some such thing…

  5. I contracted Hepatitis B and I believe that it was the result of unsanitary Colonoscopy equipment. I had total liver failure and had to undergo a liver transplant

  6. I am undergoing treatment for liver cancer due to hep c at the Bay Pines VAMC. I have a blog at http://www.vahepclivercancer.org. If you are a vet with hepc at risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer and wonder what the diagnosis and treatment is like, read it.

  7. If you have been newly diagnosed with liver cancer or are at risk and anticipate being treated by the VA, you should read my blog to prepare yourself for your treatment.

  8. Is it possible for a bed ridden nursing home patient that has been in nursing home for some ten years to go into a hospital and have a gall bladder removed and some two-three weeks later return to same hospital only this time the pains are infection after the orthoscopic surgery, and metastatized prostate cancer that has just now been diagnosed into the old guys bones, by the way this patient has had prostate cancer many years ago and was treated by a reputable cancer institute some 2-3 years prior to him entering this nursing home,he was told at the time his cancer was stable(in remission) is it possible for all these years the nursing home and/or the hospital could have possibly not been doing the right job of testing this guy for so long and now it is too late??

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