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Joseph H. Saunders
Joseph H. Saunders
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Colonoscopies, AIDS and VA Hospitals

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Three VA patients have tested positive for AIDS after colonscopy equipment was not properly cleaned and sterilized. Another 25 VA patients, 7 in Florida have contracted hepatitis B or C due to similar contamination issues. While VA officials are quick to deny the link between the diseases and the improperly sterilized medical equipment, the Veterans Administration has contacted 3,341 people who may have been similarly exposed.

Last month the VA reported that three hospitals in Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia failed to follow the proper sterilization procedures regarding colonoscopy machines. Rather than the prescribed method of disinfection, the machines were merely rinsed leaving other patients open to exposure to serious, infectious diseases.