Veterans react to VA decision to temporarily shutdown operating rooms

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A local veteran is reacting tonight to the Buffalo VA Medical Center’s decision to temporarily shut down its operating rooms.

The move happened yesterday after the VA found some equipment was discolored.

There is still no word the operating room is back open. This isn’t the first time sterilization concerns have come up .

The Medical Center was cited in 2014 for sterilization issues.

Less than six months ago, the Buffalo VA notified more than 500 patients of a potential infection risk.

19 year combat veteran Roger Woodward says he was comforted to hear the VA is rescheduling surgeries after finding some issues with their sterilization packages.

He said, “Of course I didn’t have a surgery scheduled today,  so there may be different points of view.”

Others expressing that frustrating on our social media pages. But for Woodward, he didn’t notice any issues at his appointment there today.

He said, “It was business as usual from my perspective. Veterans were getting seen.”

According to a statement released Tuesday by the V.A, the discoloration was discovered during routine quality reviews of sterile processing.

What exactly the discoloration means and what equipment is affected is not being made clear by the V.A.

Less than six months ago, the buffalo V.A. notified more than 500 patients of a potential infection risk associated with improperly sterilized endoscopes used at the facility.

Something Woodward knows all about. He said, “I had been a consumer of that product in that time frame.”

But despite being exposed in that procedure, he still returns to the V.A. for all his health needs. “I choose the V.A. I will continue to chose the V.A. I don’t have a reason not to.”

The V.A. there is no link between what happened in August and this temporary closure.  This latest discovery has not been linked to any patient illnesses.

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