Recently, it was revealed that 33 veterans were overlooked in 2009 when the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in downtown Augusta told its patients about possible exposure to bodily fluids that were deemed infectious. Officials from the hospital started contacting patients on Wednesday so they could be tested, said Ellen Harbeson, chief of quality management at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.
It is reported that 33 patients are among the thousands who were possibly treated with infectious equipment at VA hospitals in Miami, Tennessee and Augusta. Among the three hospitals, it is reported that 50 patients tested positive for infections and eight people had HIV.
Toward the end of May, a patient at the Miami VA Hospital told officials that he believed he was overlooked. Later, a review of medical records showed that he was correct and officials in Miami managed to contact another 78 individuals who have not been tested for possible exposure. It is reported that no patients were missed at the Tennessee location.
In 2009, the first investigation focused only on patients treated at the same ear, nose and throat clinic. What the investigation failed to include was patients that were treated outside of the clinic with equipment that was possibly contaminated. For example, it is said that a doctor may have used a medical device from the clinic to treat someone who came in for treatment at one of the VA's emergency rooms.