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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 1:27pm

VA Missed Patients In Alert

Updated: 4 years ago.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says 33 patients treated at an Augusta hospital are being notified about their possible exposure to infections. (photo courtesy of Timothy Valentine)

The Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Augusta is trying to contact 33 patients who got overlooked last year when the VA alerted thousands of people they might have exposed to infectious body fluids.

Hospital director Rebecca Wiley said Wednesday the VA wants to test the patients for possible infections, though the risk is low.

Improper cleaning of medical equipment at VA hospitals in Miami, Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Augusta caused the VA to alert more than 10,000 veterans last year of potential exposure to HIV and other infections.

Last month, the Miami VA had to notify an additional 79 patients. The VA says none were overlooked in Tennessee.

About 50 patients from the three sites tested positive for infections last year, including eight cases of HIV. The source of the infections isn't known.

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