Earlier this week, the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri began sending letters to armed forces veterans to advise them that they may have been exposed to blood borne pathogens while receiving dental care at the facility.
Specifically, the letters are being sent to approximately 1,800 veterans in Missouri and Illinois who were treated at the facility between February 2009 and March 2010, warning them that they may be at risk for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. According to a CNN report, the exposure was the result of improper cleaning of dental instruments by staff at the facility. Apparently staff members were hand-washing tools in addition to using cleaning machines, and hand-washing is against standard rules and protocol.
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) is outraged, commenting that the facility’s failure to maintain basic health standards is “simply unacceptable” and calling for those responsible to be disciplined.
If you or a loved one received a letter from John Cochran VA Medical Center or believe you were affected by this health risk, you may have a legal claim. Contact our firm today to help you assess your claim and explore your rights.