As I was driving home last night, I heard another radio news piece on VA hospitals in Florida, and their failure to clean tubing used for patients during colonoscopies.
A physician who was speaking on behalf of the VA, Dr. Bagian, stated that hundreds of Veterans had received letters regarding possible contamination. Although they are “not sure,” the incorrect cleaning procedures could have caused fluids from one patient, to be transferred to another. This could potentially cause spread of blood and fluid born diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis etc.
When the journalist asked what the VA was doing about it, the physician stated they were “treating patients.” I was grateful to hear her press the physician to explain whether the VA was compensating patients, the physician simply said their were legal avenues that patients had access to.
Friends, if you have received this letter from the VA – it is important for you know you must speak to an attorney who is familiar with the Federal Tort Claims Act, as soon as possible. You will have to provide written notice before suit can be filed, and that is often within a year of the incident (because then the VA has 6 months to respond and you must still file suit in accordance with state statute of limitation laws).
Please – find out if you have contracted any new illness, and call an attorney with experience on malpractice claims against the VA. Frith Law Firm has been dealing with the VA for the last year – get someone who is experienced!
I would encourage you to listen to the story – this is scary, and again, I am embarrassed that we treat our veterans this way.