ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The John Cochran VA medical center cancelled surgeries, as of Wednesday, February 2, after a regular inspection of surgical instrument trays noted spots on the trays and water stains on at least one piece of surgical instrument.
“These concerns were caught before any patients were operated on, and this serves as an example of the medical center’s heightened patient precaution systems at work,” said a statement emailed to KMOX News.
“Medical center leadership has inspected all other surgical materials and has had various service vendors at the facility today inspecting and testing Surgical Processing and Distribution equipment to eliminate any potential problems,” Medical Center Director RimaAnn, RN, MPH/HAS said. “VA will work with all affected Veterans to reschedule surgical appointments or arrange for alternate care in any urgent cases.”
This action comes in the wake of problems at the Cochran facility last year that 1,800 veterans were potentially exposed to Hepatitis and HIV from improperly sterlized dental equipment.
Congressman Russ Carnahan, who Thursday was assigned to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued a statement in response to this latest development at the facility.
“How many times does something have to happen before they fix this facility?” Carnahan said. “Clearly the problems there go well beyond one department. It’s time for a full, top-to-bottom, independent review of the entire facility. It needs to happen and it needs to happen now.
The health and safety of our veterans is too important to wait.”
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