Risk of Infaction "Unlikely" in VA Surgery Investigation

Post date: Mar 9, 2011 2:02:04 PM

John Cochran VA Medical Center

Written by Adam Claypool

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KSDK) -- A report from the Inspector General's office in the Department of Veterans Affairs found systematic problems at the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis, but concluded the that patient-to-patient transmission of any blood-borne infectious disease was unlikely.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says the dental RME reprocessing issues at John Cochran were a long-standing problem that went unrecognized and unaddressed by Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and STLVAMC managers. According to the Inspector General, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) identified the deficiencies and tried to address them, but the VHA's actions did not always resolve the issues.

The Inspector General concluded that the STLVAMC promptly set-up and staffed its Dental Review Clinic, made appropriate efforts to contact identified patients and provided adequate support and follow-up to patients.

Missouri congressman Russ Carnahan had this to say about the VA Inspector General's reports:

"We need to make sure veterans in the St. Louis region receive the best health care available, and I'm eager to work with the VA to find solutions based on the results of these and other ongoing investigations."

NewsChannel 5's I-Team confirmed the St. Louis VA canceled surgeries due to possible contamination of equipment in early February.