Oversight of the handling of reusable medical equipment by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) remains inadequate, said the Government Accountability Office in a report presented during a May 3 hearing before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs (http://1.usa.gov/iNmXhG).
In 2008, improper reprocessing of endoscopes at VA facilities may have placed thousands of veterans in Tennessee and Florida at risk of exposure to hepatitis viruses and HIV. In 2009 and 2010, more than 3300 veterans were exposed to similar risks because of improper processing of ear, nose, and throat endoscopes or deficient handling of dental equipment.
Mitka M. VA Oversight Questioned. JAMA. 2011;305(22):2280. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.773