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.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (6)
  1. john marsh says:

    How clean is the John Cochran-Va Medical Center?
    Walk the wards, looking at where the floor meets the walls. And not just in the bathrooms.

  2. Callie says:

    No ifs, ands or buts about it, it is time for NEW leadership at this facility. A strong CEO is needed who can go through each dept with a fine tooth comb and clean up the entire hospital. Some people should have to reaaply for their positions. Not only do we get to read these stories but talk to people who’ve worked there and/or been patients there–phone calls are not returned, sanitary conditions are at minimal conditions; rude reception. This place has been a disaster for decades.

  3. Donna says:

    My father almost passed away at the John Cochran VA hospital so he chose to be transfered to the VA Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. He received the same type of care at the VA Hospital in Memphis and he needlessly passed away. The best advice we got at both hospitals was from the gentleman that was mopping the floor who said he wouldn’t take his dog to a veteran’s hospital. I am sure that they were glad that they did not have to take care of another WWII veteran. The staff, if you could find them, acted incompetent and offended. If this is how we treat America’s finest, what can the rest of us expect under a National Health care plan.

  4. George Moellenhoff says:

    I am a Korean veteran who had back surgery at John Cochran last March and received better care than some of my friends received at some of the local civilian hospitals. When I was a volunteer driver for veterans who had doctor appointments at John Cochran, most all veterans had good comments about the care that they received. Any hospital can have problems, but they will not be corrected if they are not exposed.

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