Dental Patients at St. Louis VA Hospital Could've Been Exposed to Hepatitis, HIV

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Q: What's worse than a trip to the dentist?

A: A letter from the dentist telling you that his dirty dental tools may have exposed you to hepatitis or HIV.

More than 1,800 veterans received such a letter this week informing them that St. Louis VA Medical Center had not properly cleaned its dental equipment between February 2009 and March 2010.

The veterans are now being invited back to the VA for blood testing. (Presumably that testing will be performed with clean equipment.)

The letter form the hospital drew a quick response from Congressman Russ Carnahan who demanded an investigation in the oft-troubled hospital. In 2003 the St. Louis VA was was placed on "conditional accreditation" following a surprise inspection. In 2007 the VA was also accused of providing less than professional care.

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