Improperly cleaned dental instruments may have exposed over 1,800 veterans to HIV and other life threatening diseases. The alleged exposure to the virus occurred after dental technicians at The John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis, reportedly hand-washed instruments before putting them in cleaning machines. According to the hospital’s chief of staff, the instruments should have not been prewashed before being placed in the machine.
The exposure is believed to have occurred between the February 2009 and March of this year. In a statement given by Katie Roberts, the press secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington, D.C., she acknowledged the “”VA leadership recognizes the seriousness of this situation and has implemented safeguards to prevent a similar situation from occurring again.”
While the letters state the risk of infection is low, the hospital is offering veterans free screening for hepatitis B and C as well as HIV.
Veterans who may have been affected can call the hospital at 888-374-3046.
Source: CBS News