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Dublin VA may have exposed 4,000 veterans to infection with improperly cleaned equipment

The VA says it's confident the risk of infectious diseases is very low, but recommends testing for bloodborne illnesses like HIV and hepatitis.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Around 4,000 veterans should be tested as soon as possible for blood-borne illnesses like Hep. B, Hep. C and HIV due to concerns about the cleanliness of reusable medical equipment at the Dublin VA.

According to a news release, the Carl Vinson VA stopped all medical procedures and operations between the dates of Jan. 12-14 because of 'concerns about reprocessing reusable medical equipment.'

In a letter sent to potentially impacted veterans on Feb. 9, Director Manuel Davila says the Dublin VA learned during an internal review that there may have been times when all the steps needed for a complete or safe sterilization weren’t followed.

They are now in the process of notifying veterans who had a dentistry, endoscopy, urology, podiatry, optometry or surgical procedure throughout the month of January.

The VA says they are “confident that the risk of infectious diseases is very low" and that testing for veterans is not required, but will be available free of charge between Feb. 9-25.

A team from the Augusta VA was sent to Dublin to reprocess all equipment after the internal review in mid-January. Veterans affected by that three-day halt for cleaning have been rescheduled.

If you have any questions, you’re asked to call the communication center at 478-274-5400 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Feb. 25.

We will have more on this story on 13WMAZ News at 5, 6 and 11.


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