The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is being asked to compensate the victims of medical errors made at three VA hospitals that might have exposed them to infectious disease. The medical lawyer is currently representing some 60 veterans in their medical malpractice claims. Many of the approximately 10,000 patients affected have also sought legal representation.
The cases stem from an investigation that found that three VA hospitals were using improperly cleaned medical equipment used for colonoscopies, which potentially exposed patients to bodily fluids and infectious disease. 10,320 patients were warned of the potential exposure and advised to undergo blood tests right away to determine if they were infected.
According to recent records, of the patients who were tested, 37 tested positive for hepatitis C, 12 for hepatitis B and 8 for HIV. Unfortunately, not everyone warned has returned for the follow up testing, so there may be many cases of infection that have thus-far gone undiagnosed.
The VA has released a statement expressing regret for the medical errors that were made, but noting how the agency has “aggressively dealt with them”. They have offered free medical care to all of the veterans affected, but not surprisingly many of them feel that’s just not enough; especially those who now face living life with an infectious disease.
With all the claims being filed, and the thousands of lives that have been affected by this case of mass medical malpractice, there will certainly be more news to come and hopefully justice to report for the victims.