BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - More than 700 Veterans could have potentially been exposed to several deadly viruses including Hepatitis B, C, and H.I.V.
Now, hundreds of Veterans will need to have a blood test Monday to see if there's a chance they were infected.
In November, while conducting inspection rounds at the Buffalo VA Hospital, VA Western New York Healthcare System officials discovered insulin pens meant for individual use, were not properly labeled. They may have been used on more than one patient between October 19 and November 1.
It is evident they brought this new technology in two years ago, and did not properly put a protocol in place to ensure that nurses knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that no insulin pens should be used on more than one patient.
According to Congressman Collins it is not the needles themselves that are possibly tainted. Instead, it's the cartridge of the insulin pen.
Insulin pen cartridges, are meant to give a proper dosage of insulin. During the inspection, a supply drawer at the Buffalo VA Hospital found several of these cartridges without a patient label on them, leaving the chance that someone's blood was exposed onto another person.
In a statement, the VA Western New York Health Care System stated: "Once this was identified, immediate action was taken to ensure the insulin pens were labeled and only used according to pharmaceutical guidelines."
Congressman Collins says he will be holding the VA accountable. He adds, "People have to be trained and trained again and procedures need to be in place and protocol that this doesn't happen. And that's something the VA will have to answer to in making sure that this doesn't happen and asking the obvious question, why did it happen in the first place?"
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