Dental treatment at VA hospital may have exposed veterans to AIDs, hepatitis

Belleville News-DemocratJune 30, 2010 

ST. LOUIS -- A flaw in the sterilization of dental equipment at the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center exposed 1,812 veterans, including 495 from Illinois, to a "low risk" of becoming infected with AIDS or hepatitis.

Certified letters were sent Monday to veterans who received dental treatment at the center between Feb. 1, 2009, and March 11, 2010, encouraging them to go to the medical center and be tested for the human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B and C viruses.

A routine inspection by a VA internal quality inspection team in March revealed that certain equipment was not being sterilized in accordance with accepted standards, VA spokeswoman Marcena Gunter said Tuesday.

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