A shocking report out of Wisconsin indicates that a dentist may have carelessly exposed nearly 600 veterans to terrible diseases.
Nearly 600 patients may have been exposed to HIV as well as strains of hepatitis at a Veterans Affairs medical center in Wisconsin, and now they will need to wait for the results to find out if they have been infected.
Authorities say a dentist at the Tomah VA Medical Center re-used dental equipment that he owned rather than use the disposable and sterilized tools required by VA rules, and as a result he has exposed a huge amount of people to deadly diseases, according to numerous media reports.
“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” said Victoria Brahm, acting medical director at the Tomah VA Center in a press briefing earlier this week, according to a CNN report. “During all of the orientation, he used our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure.”
The dentist had been hired in October 2015 and saw 592 patients. All of those patients were notified this week, according to the reprot. The dentist has since been moved to an administrative role.
Fortunately, the risk of infection is low, and the testing is done out of an abundance of caution.
“This news is not just heartbreaking; it’s outrageous,” U.S. House Speaker Pual Ryan, Wisconsin congressman, said in a statement as report by CNN. “How can our veterans be treated so carelessly and where is the accountability? The individual in question has not even been fired — a truly stunning show of bureaucratic impunity. This demonstrates once and for all that the VA needs a complete overhaul, so that our veterans finally get the care — and the respect — they deserve.”