VA Patients Exposed to Hepatitis and HIV


Over 3000 patients at a VA hospital in Miami, Florida may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis and other diseases after receiving colonoscopies performed with improperly sterilized equipment. Hospital officials sent out letters to those who underwent endoscopies at the VA Medical Center in Miami over the last five years stating they may have been exposed and should be tested as soon as possible. Doctors at the hospital found an error in the way the tests were performed during a review of procedures, and claim they have taken steps to improve the way the tests are given.

The problem stems from a small chance that “backflow or back-flush” from the patient who was previously tested could potentially make the next patient sick sometime in the future. VA officials insist this risk is small and only involves the tubing of the endoscopic equipment, and not the device that makes actual contact with the patient receiving the colonoscopy.

VA hospitals in two other southern states, Tennessee and Georgia, recently sent out notice to thousands of patients that they may have been exposed to infectious diseases due to improperly sterilized equipment involved in colonoscopies and for an examination at an ear, nose and throat clinic.

Patients who have undergone an endoscopic procedure between May 2004 and March 2009 at the VA Center in Miami have been asked to call 1-877-575-7256 for more information. You may also contact Personal to find an experienced medical malpractice attorney.