Careless VA Dentist May Have Infected Hundreds Of Veterans With HIV

by
Cierra Bailey
A Wisconsin-based Veterans Affairs hospital is diligently doing damage control after learning one of its dentists wasn’t properly cleaning his tools.

A dentist at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Wisconsin may have exposed nearly 600 patients to HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C.

According to Uproxx, it was discovered that the dentist wasn’t cleaning his instruments properly. He has since been removed from treating patients, and the hospital is in the process of notifying all of his veteran patients and testing them for the potentially deadly diseases.

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Additionally, the hospital has reportedly offered free treatment to any veteran who does become infected with one of the viruses.

The hospital has determined that the dentist’s failure to follow regulations was purposeful. However, thus far, there’s no known spread of infection. They are taking vigorous action “out of an abundance of caution.”

“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” said acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm at a news conference Tuesday. “During all of the orientation, he used all of 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.”

Clearly, this dentist did not have his patients’ best interests at heart. Perhaps reusing tools is more sustainable from an environmental standpoint, but it’s not worth risking the lives and health of innocent people. It’s also not worth potentially losing your job or facing legal action because you failed to protect patients who put their trust in you.

We can only hope that no one who was treated by this negligent dentist turns up with one of these serious infections. It is a heartbreaking thought that people who spent a portion of their lives fighting for our rights and safety could be suffering from a life-threatening illness all because someone didn’t care enough about their rights and safety. 

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