Hepatitis, HIV Cases Confirmed at VA Hospital


The Miami Herald is reporting that the VA has identified one patient has tested positive for HIV and seven others for hepatitis C after they underwent colonoscopies at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Miami. To read this news item, CLICK HERE.

The Miami VA Healthcare System also announced that it established a Special Care Clinic, and made the following statement on its Web site: “As a result of a manufacturer’s alert and our review of endoscopy procedures, we have become aware of a potential health risk. Although we believe that this risk is minimal, we would like to provide the veteran with additional information and follow-up care. The Miami VA Healthcare System will be notifying veterans, by a letter, who had an endoscopic procedure performed between May 2004 and March 12, 2009. The endoscope equipment was properly cleaned and disinfected, it was determined that an attached section of tubing was rinsed, but not disinfected according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  This created a minimal possibility of exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Based on this review, Miami VA Healthcare System has decided to move forward with patient notification and is committed to providing high quality care to our veterans. The notification and subsequent screenings are part of Miami VA’s commitment to provide patient centered care to South Florida’s Veteran population.  In addition to screenings, Miami VA has established a Special Care Call Center for the veterans to call to make expedited appointments and receive additional information. Patients may call Special Care Call Center at (305) 575-7256 or 1-877-575-7256, 7 days a week 24 hours a day. We have established a Special Care Program which includes an information center and Special Care Clinics which are available at the Miami VA Medical Center, the Broward County VA Clinic, the Homestead VA Clinic and the Key West VA Clinic. If veterans are located outside the South Florida area, the Miami VA will arrange for the veteran to receive service at a VA facility most convenient to the veteran. According to Mary D. Berrocal, director, ‘Miami VA emphasizes that screening is strictly precautionary and does not indicate that any patients have contracted a virus. Although there is minimal risk, we feel that even a slight risk is unacceptable to the veterans we care for.’ This notification only applies to patients who had endoscopies performed between May 2004 and March 12, 2009. There is no increased risk to patients who had this procedure outside of these dates.” For more details, CLICK HERE.


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