A mistake made at the Buffalo VA Medical Center may have exposed around 550 local veterans to HIV, or Hepatitis B and C. The Department of Veterans Affairs states the VA is contacting all patients who were injected with insulin pens at the facility between October 19, 2010 and November 1, 2012 to have a blood test. A total of 716 people were injected, but only 550 are still alive.

According to the VA adn US Rep. Chris Collins, new technology was introduced, but a protocol was not put in place to deal with it. Insulin pens that should have only been used once were possibly used mulitiple times. Needles were discarded each time the pens were used, but during an audit of the VA’s pharmacies, pens were found without relevant information as basic as the patient’s name on them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states all insulin pens must be labeled with the name of the patient and other medical information. When this is not done, patients who are injected by a reused pen may be infected.

Patients can be infected when the pens become backed up with bodily fluid and are reused, resulting in cross contamination.

If any patients were infected with a disease like HIV or Hepatitis, they may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It wouldn’t be the first time the VA has been accused of negligence.

If you are in the Dublin, Columbus, New Albany, or anywhere else in Ohio and would like more information on filing a medical malpractice suit, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack Co., L.P.A. today to set up a free consultation today.