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A Missouri Veterans hospital may have exposed over 1,600 patients to HIV and Hepatitis. 

This happened when some dental technicians at John Cochran Veterans Administration Hospital washed their own tools, when they should have been sent to the hospitals sanitizing and sterilizing department. 

This is due to the fact that the hand washing instruments only kills a certain amount of bacteria, but is ineffective in killing viruses like HIV and Hepatitis.   The hand washing method used by the technicians started in February 2009 and wasn’t discovered until March 2010.

Patients were given letters on Tuesday, which notified them that they might have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV.  The hospital has responded to the problem by setting up a special clinic for patients that might be at risk. 

Doctors are also urging patients to receive blood tests and counseling.  It was not reported that any of the employees were punished for not following the sanitizing protocol.

Negligence at its finest… Somebody’s getting sued.