According to the Associated Press, The Veterans Affairs Department is investigating a possible link between patients testing positive for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and the use of unsterilized equipment that may have caused thousands of veterans to be exposed to infectious diseases.
Initial tests show patients from VA medical facilities in Murfreeboro, Tennessee; Augusta, Georgia; and Miami, Florida have tested positive for HIV after being treated with endoscopic equipment that was not properly sterilized. The three sites all used endoscopic equipment manufactured by Olympus America, Inc. The problem may stem from neglecting to appropriately reprocess a specific auxiliary water tube, thus putting patients at risk of exposure to bodily fluids from other patients.
The VA has advised over 10,000 veterans to get blood tests because they may have been exposed to contamination while getting colonoscopies at the above mentioned facilities.