VA Dental Clinic Exposed Veterans to HIV?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Wow, this is scary:
A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.
Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it.
I've had a fair amount of experience with the VA. They took care of me with a significant heart problem I've been dealing with for the last few years, and for which I was uninsured. The San Francisco VA is, from what I've seen, pretty advanced in terms of cardiac techniques, though it's pretty big and I wouldn't say it's particularly patient friendly.
The much smaller San Bruno VA clinic, however, is just outstanding. The doctors are mostly doing fellowships at Stanford and UCSF medical schools, and both I've had seemed totally competent and reassuring. The phlebotomist who drew my blood got it right in one take -- I have small veins, and an inexperienced Kaiser phlebotomist once took three stabs before he got it right. And the woman who runs the scheduling there, Estelle, is really on top of her game. Once she even called me back to make sure I had the right time for an appointment because it had been rescheduled a couple of times already and she wanted to make absolutely sure. I don't know which experience is more representative, mine or that of the 1800 exposed veterans; but I wanted to make sure credit is given where due.