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Miami Veterans Given Colonoscopies With Dirty Equipment

Miami medical malpractice lawyers are watching a situation unfold in which patients at the Miami-area veterans’ hospital were given colonoscopies with equipment that was not properly cleaned. The failure to properly sterilize the equipment put the patients at risk for many infectious diseases, including HIV.

It is estimated that 2400 patients received colonoscopies with the unclean equipment. But now it has come to light that not all of the patients were notified of the error and warned about the dangers of infection. A total of 79 veterans were not notified that they were given the colonoscopies with improperly cleaned equipment.

The Veterans’ Administration has launched an investigation, and the director of the Miami VA Healthcare system, Mary Berrocal, has been temporarily removed and given a temporary administrative job.

The improperly cleaned equipment put veterans in danger of contracting…

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

Tests thus far have revealed that three Miami vets tested positive for HIV. Seven have tested positive for hepatitis C, and one for hepatitis B. It is impossible to know at this point if they were infected by the improperly cleaned colonoscopy equipment.

VA officials concluded after an initial investigation that a staffer at the hospital rinsed some of the equipment instead of sterilizing it.

VA staff have made unannounced visits to every VA health facility in the country to confirm proper staff training in the cleaning of colonoscopy equipment.

  • Source: Sun-Sentinel “79 patients at Miami hospital never told tests were improper, VA says” July 8, 2010
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