VA Official Speaks Out About Botched Colonoscopies

Director "heartbroken" over hospital bungle

The top Veterans Affairs official in Miami says she was "heartbroken" when she learned patients were exposed to contaminated medical equipment at VA hospitals.

Miami VA Healthcare System director Mary D. Berrocal told The Associated Press on Tuesday she has created a position to supervise training and make sure biomedical equipment works properly.

Five patients have tested positive for HIV and 33 tested positive for hepatitis since February, when the VA started notifying more than 11,000 people treated at three VA hospitals to get follow-up blood checks because of possible exposure to infectious body fluids.

The equipment is used for colonoscopies and ear, nose and throat procedures.

The hospitals are in Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta, Ga.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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