Fox News recently reported on a large-scale example of medical negligence that has put thousands of members of our armed forces at risk.
Several weeks ago the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis notified over 1,800 veterans who had been provided care at the facility that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Each of the armed service members had been sent to the Medical Center to receive dental care.
The potential contamination was caused by negligent dental technicians at the facility who hand-washed certain equipment instead of putting them into the special-made cleaning machines. This process is contrary to protocol and makes the equipment susceptible to contamination, in this case with forms of hepatitis and HIV. The technicians were guilty of sacrificing the care of their patients all in an effort to save time.Cleaning and sterilizing equipment is one of the basic components of proper medical care.
Medical malpractice at VA hospitals has occurred all too frequently. A hospital in Florida used contaminated colonoscopy equipment and a Philadelphia facility committed radiation errors with several veteran patients.
Also, in November a spike in patient deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in southern Illinois initiated a probe. According to reports, the surgeons at that Marion, Illinois facility were performing unauthorized procedures and failing to properly assess patient deaths. Eventually all surgeries at the facility had to be suspended.
Medical malpractice affects all types of hospitals, those that treat private citizens as well as our veterans. It also occurs in all types of medical procedures, from complex surgeries to routine dental work. In fact, dental malpractice is a common form of doctor error that all too often goes unnoticed and unreported.
For that reason, everyone seeking medical care should be alert to the potential errors that are caused by negligent medical professionals. If you suspect any similar negligence contact a nearby medical malpractice lawyer, like ours at Levin & Perconti, to protect your rights. Our attorneys have decades of experience protecting victims of dental malpractice and every other form of medical negligence.