A story broke last week that a breach in protocol by a VA dentist may have exposed nearly 600 veterans to HIV and hepatitis. This dentist was employed at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin. The dentist was found to have re-used his own dental equipment when treating his patients, instead of the disposable tools provided by the VA.
The acting medical director of the Tomah VA told the press that the dentist was purposefully violating VA protocol, as he had appropriately used VA equipment throughout his VA orientation. The dentist treated 592 patients, having been hired in October 2015. All of these patients were notified of their potential exposure to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The VA is offering the affected patients free testing and follow-up care.
This dentist, who has not been identified to the media, was moved to an administrative role. Wisconsin congressman and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement in which he declared it “outrageous” that the dentist has not been fired.
If you or a family member has been affected by these bad acts or by medical negligence at another VA facility, please reach out for a free consultation.