April 3, 2009
VA patients, who believe that they may have been exposed to cross contamination, were patients that received endoscopic procedures at the VA’s
As of April 1, 2009, 17 Veterans have tested positive for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or the Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) Virus. Five Veterans tested positive for Hepatitis B virus; eleven for Hepatitis C; and one for HIV. Of the positive test results, eleven were tested at VA’s
While reviews indicate that the transmission of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus as a result of endoscopy procedures is extremely small and that transmission of HIV through endoscopy has never been reported, VA will appropriately counsel and care for these patients, no matter what the source of their infections may be.
“Secretary Shinseki has demanded that all Veterans enrolled with VA get the best health care available anywhere,” said Michael J. Kussman, MD, MS,
VA is continuing the process of testing and counseling Veterans who may be affected by this issue. The Department has added additional personnel at its
“The VA prides itself on being accountable and we are extremely concerned about this matter and as a result we have initiated an investigation,” said Kussman. “Additionally, we are making sure to take corrective measures to ensure Veterans have the information and the care necessary to deal with this unacceptable development.”
VA is committed to reducing and preventing inadvertent harm to our patients as a result of their care. The Department is a leader in the health care industry in developing and nurturing a culture of safety at all its facilities. Patient safety managers at all 153 VA hospitals lead VA’s 280,000 employees in efforts to reduce and eliminate harm
VA patients and their families may call 1-877-575-7256, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for additional information.
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