VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The Veterans Affairs department says a patient has tested positive for HIV after being exposed to contaminated equipment at a medical facility.

The VA reported previously that hepatitis has been found in 16 patients. But the agency says there is no way to prove the patients contracted the illnesses because of treatment at their facilities.

More than 10,000 veterans have been warned to get blood tests because they could have been exposed to contamination at facilities Tennessee, Georgia and Miami. All three sites failed to properly sterilize endoscopic equipment between treatments. The VA has said patients could have been exposed to body fluids from a previous patient.

The VA on Monday did not return telephone calls and e-mails about the positive HIV test.

VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

I think we all saw it coming, I know I did, after the initial stories broke: Unsterile equipment used on Miami veterans.

This can’t be said too often or too strongly, our troops and our veterans deserve nothing less than the very best that this nation has to offer. They have, and still are, giving this nation everything they have to give, many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The ultimate sacrifice. Not to take ANYTHING away from those troops that have died in the line of duty, but they are always regarded as heroes and given the most special treatment that can be given, and they are given the most honorable burial services this nation has to offer.

Why can’t our wounded warriors be given the same treatment? Nothing but the very best? Why can’t the men and women that have served this nation be afforded the very best in top shelf medical care in return for the sacrifices that they have made for this nation? They may not have died in service, but many contracted various disease and physical maladies, Agent Orange exposure being foremost in my mind, closely followed by radiation sickness from exposure to depleted uranium and it’s use in various applications.

So many of our veterans that did live have lost a limb, or in some cases, multiple limbs, some have been burned and scarred for life, some have lost their ability to walk, speak, hear, see, God only knows what else, and almost to a man, they would stand and do it again if their nation called.

WHY in the HELL do these heroes get this kind of treatment from the Veterans Administration hospitals that they have to rely on? Why are they facing a death sentence from those that should be making every effort to keep them alive?

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13 Responses to VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

  1. Eric says:

    I can only hang my head Fred, in shame really. It’s been something that I myself have had to put up with years, after Desert Storm…

    You know this.

    Substandard health care. I raise Hell everytime I go to mine over one thing or another. I’m maxed at 100%, I could simply be content with that, I receive benefits at that rate, but like my dad says, you still gotta fight for the veterans before you, and those coming into the system now, and in the future, because uncle sam doesn’t really seem to give a rats ass.

    Part of the problem *IS* that it’s run by the government. It really shouldn’t be that way for reasons you’ve already stated.

    That’s why when I feel like saying to Hell with it, I’ll use a private doctor but I always go back to the VA in hopes that my 2 pennies worth given to any doctors or anyone up there might mean something and helps prevent crap like in this article from happening, in one ear and out the other though. I’m not popular up there at all.

    This story? It’s a shame but it’s not surprising. Preventable? Hell yes, there’s absolutely no excuse for it but here’s the thing, I *can’t* see it getting any better, at least anytime soon. BIGGER government means much more bureaucracy than has previously existed, and there’s always been too much unnecessary red tape with the Veterans Administration to begin with. From waiting for claims to waiting for an appointment. Now, for some, waiting to see if you’re HIV positive, wtf?

    For any veterans that care about this issue and voted for Obama, that was beyond stupid.

  2. Kate says:

    I can’t even come up with words.

  3. Aunty Brat says:

    This sooooooooooo pisses me off. It is inexcusable and our wounded warriors DO deserve nothing less than the very best.

    THIS, and so many other stories just like it, are obscenities.

  4. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    Please allow me to write this, Fred, if I might:

    Where do our sitting presidents customarily go when they need medical checkups or hospital attention?

    Is not Walter Reed Army Medical Center THE hospital where the bulk of our recent presidents have gone for checkups or attention?

    ALL of our military warriors should acquire the PRECISE SAME QUALITY OF TREATMENT THAT EACH OF OUR PRESIDENTS RECEIVED at Walter Reed.

    It is the LEAST we should do for our hallowed warrior class!


  5. Kate says:

    I would agree BZ. Actually, I’d say our heroes deserve even BETTER care than some of the people who have sat in the WH.

  6. Patrick Sperry says:

    Gads, we knew this would be coming. The only thing good that the VA did for me was pay for my interferon and rebital, and that was hell to go through, but, at least Hep “C” can theoretically be cured. HIV is another matter. I don’t know how many people here are from the medical field like I am, but I can assure each and every one of you. Getting killed from a gut shot (peritonitis) beats death from Hep C or AIDS any day…

    When I think about fixing the V.A. Hospital System the stone cold Libertarian comes out in me. Privatize it, plain and not so simple. However, this must be done. We owe that to Eric, Fred’s son, as well as both of mine.

  7. Ingrid says:

    It’s called accountability and our Federal Gov. has none.
    Our Government has no pride for their soldiers.
    They have no honor.
    They have no respect.
    They have no audible desertion of what a soldier fights for they’re rights is all about.
    When they (the gov.) talk about our brave soldiers in combat, all they think about is the money they are making while our men and women are dying or physically and mentally disabled.
    They don’t give a rats ass about these honorable people after they come home. Just take a look in every city and town across this country and see how many federally funded departments there are to assist them…..not many at all.

    And, for what? That so called free education they offer or trade skills they offer.

    Fighting to save this country and our constitution is what I would call a FIGHT but, not in Iraq or some other country that has nothing to do with our security and more to do with establishing territory and rights for the greedy money making rich elite.

    Think about it people. Short of 9′/11 which they knew was coming, our government did nothing. We all know the rest of that sad story.

    The fight we should be seeing must start here in this country before it’s too late. They would NOT HESITATE TO LET ANOTHER 9/11 HAPPEN IF IT MEANT IT WOULD FAVOR THEIR PLAN TO RULE THE WORLD.

    I am a mother of 3 and their all old enough to be drafted into some senseless war that has nothing to do with our immediate security but I’ll be damned if I will let that happen.
    We the people have lost our common senses and can’t see the forest for the trees because all the national security we are supposed to have here is minimal, zilch, nadda. Homeland security themselves admit they don’t have enough people to secure this country. Is anyone asking our government the right questions? Why we don’t have this and why we don’t have that. WHY WE DON’T HAVE EXCEPTIONAL SECURITY IN OUR OWN COUNTRY AND ON OUR SHORES AND BORDERS.

  8. Kate says:

    I think Fred knows this, but unless you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, ya don’t. My dad spent a great deal of time in a VA hospital after he was burnt over 75% of his body during WWII. If it had not been for their care, and my mom standing by him, he would not have lived. Now, mind you, this was in 1942, and medicine has come a LONG way since then. There is NO excuse for this kind of criminal behavior from any hospital dealing with our heroes. NONE!

  9. ozarkguru says:

    I would like to know if these vets were treated by contract foreign doctors on internships in the US at the VA hospital. I ran into this at the VA. In addition, when I was on active duty, I pulled 3 years with the Army and while being seen at an Army military hospital for a routine matter, they assigned a foreign non-English speaking doctor, with an American physician assistant, who prescribe medicine that caused my entire body to go into an allergic reaction. Upon returning this time with an emergency situation, I demanded to be seen by an American military doctor who quickly remedied the situation with extreme high doses of steroids and then a long term controlled addiction by the military to steroids to get my body back to 100%. For any one who has one of today’s steroid packs - multiply it by triple in strength and length. The point is neither active duty military or veterans should be confronted by these situations. And the denial of the reporting of HIV is both stupid and deadly.

  10. BobF says:

    This was the fault of someone not doing their job. Proper sterilization procedures are in place but it takes people to follow them. The government and the VA doesn’t clean the medical equipment, people do. The department responsible for cleaning and sterilizing the equipment is at fault and should be brought up on criminal charges.

  11. notoriouslyconservative says:

    This truly is a sad tale. These men sacrificed so much for our country, only to have their lives ruined by a careless mistake. My heart goes out to them.

  12. TexasFred says:

    notoriouslyconservative, you don’t have to include your link every time you post a message, if you notice, your name IS a hot link back to your site.

    By posting your link every time you comments you are making the system read you as SPAM, and that has caused some of your comments to go to the SPAM queue and had I not found them and released them, they would have disappeared….

  13. TexasFred says:

    You’re right Bob, it’s NOT the fault of the V.A. or the government per se, but who takes a fall if your guys screw up on the line?? Everyone right up the chain to the very top OF that chain…

    The top of this chain is the V.A. and the government….

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