Veteranclaims’s Blog

April 18, 2009

Timeline: VA Endoscopy Alerts and Notices

Filed under: endoscopy; alerts; timeline; contamination; hepatitis; HIV; — veteranclaims @ 2:21 am

Time Line for VA Alerts regarding endoscopes and processing

VHA Patient Safety Alerts and Advisories

Note: This list of alerts is not complete.
March 8, 2002 Alert
Bronchoscopes Manufactured by Olympus America
March 6, 2003 Advisory
Olympus EXERA™ Gastrointestinal Endoscopes
February 13, 2004 Alert
Connectors for Sterilization of all Gastrointestinal Fiberoptic Endoscopes
October 5, 2005 Alert
Olympus 180 series endoscopes and Steris Quick Connects
PDF Version | Word Version
March 12, 2008 Alert
STERIS C1160 Universal Flexible Processing Trays used with the STERIS System 1 Sterile Processing Systems
March 31, 2008 Alert
Improper reprocessing of flexible endoscope biopsy valves
December 22, 2008 Alert
Improper set-up and reprocessing of flexible endoscope tubing and accessories

Miami Herald 2009 Time line

• January: VA facilities and hospitals review processes and report back to Washington. The Miami VA reports that it has no sanitization problems.

• Feb. 10: The VA center in Augusta, Ga., sends letters to 1,100 veterans who had endoscopic procedures at its ear, nose and throat clinic, warning they might have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. It said that between January and November 2008 the equipment might not have been properly sanitized.

• Feb. 13: The VA medical center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., sends letters to nearly 6,400 veterans warning that improperly assembled colonoscopy equipment may have exposed them to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The problem occurred between April 23, 2003 and Dec. 1, 2008, it said.

• March 8-14: The VA initiates a ”step-up” program directing all VA hospitals and clinics to check if they have contamination problems, and to set up new training programs. In the course of the new inspection, the Miami VA discovers its problem and reports it to Washington.

• March 23: The Miami VA medical center sends a letter to about 3,260 veterans, warning that if they had colonoscopies at the local hospital, improperly sanitized equipment might have exposed them to hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

• March 27: A five-member team from the VA arrives in Miami to investigate what went wrong. Members of Congress call for additional probes by the VA Inspector General’s Office and the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

• April 17: The VA announces that one Miami veteran has tested positive for HIV, seven for hepatitis C and none for hepatitis B.

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