This is such a sad and sick story. From McClatchy.
The office of Kendrick Meek, US Rep. from south Florida, put out a statement noting that "Veterans who got colonoscopies through the Miami VA medical system are at risk of being infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV through the procedure... "
Evidently whoever was in charge neglected to ensure that the medical equipment used in those colonoscopies was cleaned properly--according to the manufacturer's instructions.
This did not just happen one time. This failure to clean instruments properly went on from May 2004 to the present.
Some 3,260 veterans are involved!
The Veterans Administration has sent letters to most of the veterans urging them to come in for blood tests, but the VA has not been able to locate 700 vets who have moved out of the area.
Fortunately, so far as the VA knows, no one has been infected.
Read this mea culpa from Miami VA director, Mary D. Berrocal, in a letter to the veterans: "As a result of a manufacturer's alert and our review of endoscopy procedures, we have become aware of a potential health risk. Although we believe that this risk is minimal, we would like to provide you with additional information and follow-up care."
Would that comfort you, knowing the risk was "minimal"?
How can this kind of thing happen? I think part of the reason is that we live in an increasingly dog-eat-dog world (as evidenced by the Wall Street fiasco) and few people care enough about other people to do their jobs properly, even if other people's lives are at stake.
Perhaps a more impertinent question is this: How can this happen in a country where 90% of the population claim to believe in God, and where close to half claim to attend worship on a weekly basis, and whole bunches have given their lives to Jesus? Some of the religious must work for the Miami VA. The bad guys can't all be atheists, can they?