A Former Marine who put his life on the line and fought for our country in the jungles of Vietnam returned home safely only to recently get a letter in the mail informing him that he may have been infected with the HIV virus, Hepatitis or other blood bourne viruses because the doctors or staff at the VA hospital, that care for and treat our respected veterans, failed to follow the basic rules of infection disease control.
That Marine vet is just one of the approximate 13,000 U.S. veterans, who have bravely served our Country, who have been recently notified that they should undergo testing to see if they are infected with HIV or hepatitis due to possible improper infection control practices at many VA hospitals in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee.
To date, there have been eight vets that have tested positive for HIV and 61 vets with Hepatitis. One theory for the cause of the infections is a previous VA dentist, who has since become retired. According to news sources, many complaints were filed against this VA dentist who allegedly did not clean dental instruments in between patients, left his gloves on in between patients, answered his cell phone with the gloves on, and drank his coffee with the same pair of gloves and then went to work on another vet's mouth with those contaminated gloves. One can only wonder if he used the restroom while wearing the same gloves. News reports show that employees reported this disturbing and unsafe behavior, but no one responded.
In 2009, approximately 10,000 of our U.S. war veterans that were patients or treated in hospitals or health care facilities in Augusta Georgia, Miami and Tennessee were notified that they could have been exposed to the potentially deadly HIV or hepatitis viruses during colonoscopies, dental procedures or endoscopic procedures because the equipment was not sterilized properly in between patients.
Today is Memorial Day. It is a day to honor all of our war veterans that have served or lost their lives to keep the United States free and safe. Sadly, some of those war soldiers, who put their lives on the line for us, returned home safely only to be harmed on U.S. soil due to cost saving measures and caused them life long chronic or deadly illnesses.