Hundreds of patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Wisconsin may have been infected with HIV or other diseases as a result of prohibited practices by one of its providers.
According to the local WEAU News, a dentist at the Tomah VA Medical Center used, cleaned, and then reused his equipment when treating patients, in violation of agency infection control rules that require providers to use sterile and disposable equipment.
The practice may have resulted in nearly 600 veterans being infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV, VA administrators revealed on Tuesday afternoon. The hospital is currently notifying the 592 patients who may have been affected between October 2015 and October 2016 when the dentist used this practice.
The dentist has since been removed from patient care and is serving in an administrative position, and the VA has referred the matter to the agency’s inspector general for criminal examination. An individual substituting for the dentist’s assistant witnessed his behavior and notified managers.