Senator Bond says he’s deeply disappointed and concerned that 1,812 St. Louis area veterans may have been exposed to dangerous blood-borne diseases at the John Cochran VA Medical Center.
The veterans that may have been exposed during dental treatments have been sent letters advising that they should be tested for Hepatitis B and C and HIV.
“We want to know what went wrong, why it went wrong, why it took them four months to notify people, and what they’re doing to make sure it never happens again,” Bond said.
Bond says veterans who were put at risk have called his office.
“We’ve heard from some, and everybody is stunned at the possibility,” Bond said.
The possible exposures happened between February 2009 and March 2010. Despite the fact that the problem was recognized in March, the letters didn’t go out until this week. Bond says it’s not clear yet whether people were actually infected.
“Right now we think the equipment all went through sterilization but it did not have all the steps that were required, and we demand that they have a checklist to make sure that it’s safe. Our veterans deserve the very best care, nothing less, and they don’t deserve to be put at risk,” Bond said.
Bond joined Senators Claire McCaskill and Richard Durbin in writing a letter to General Eric Shinseki, head of the VA. Follow this link to read that letter.
“We expressed our deep disappointment and concern. When we send our brave service volunteers into battle, we expect them to go into danger, but when they return home from duty they shouldn’t expect to face danger from the medical care provided by the VA at home.
The chair of the House Veteran’s Affairs committee has announced he will be making a trip to John Cochran VA Medical Center for a hearing on the investigation of the matter.