Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 17, 2015 – Veterans had their surgeries cancelled or rescheduled after surgical equipment cases at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System in Michigan were found to be contaminated.
Healthcare System nurses discovered specks of “inorganic particulate matter” on cases that store sterile surgical equipment during a routine check in early November. Experts inspected the facility and determined that a water main break was responsible for the sediment on some of the cases. Since Nov. 23, the hospital has replaced some equipment, installed more filters in the water system and flushed the water lines.
According to Healthcare System spokesman Derek Atkinson, the particles did not touch the equipment. He also stressed that veterans were not in danger at any time and that administrators are working to ensure a similar situation does not occur again. “We still have some things that we have to look at. Patient safety is our top priority,” Atkinson said.
“Health care professionals are obligated to make sure veterans receive the proper care they need and that they are worry-free when they visit VA-run hospitals,” said Jim Fausone, a Michigan-based veterans attorney. “The hospital needs to rectify the problem permanently so that veterans have confidence in the facilities they turn to in their time of need.”
Michigan U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell sent a public letter to Healthcare System in which she inquired about the steps the hospital is taking to ensure patient safety. She also discussed looking into the hospital’s pipes and onsite construction to determine the source of the particles.
Healthcare System underwent a surgery stand-down period starting the week of Veterans Day. Veterans were offered the option of undergoing surgery at the nearby University of Michigan Health System or rescheduling their procedures. Emergency cases were sent to the University of Michigan. The hospital has now resumed surgeries on a limited basis.
Healthcare System was investigated in 2014 following allegations of improper sterilization of surgical equipment. A whistleblower said it had “untrained employees . . . improperly handling surgical instruments and supplies” and “unsafe and unsanitary work practices.” However, the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general later confirmed that the facility had taken action to solve the problem.
Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- Michigan veterans hotline offers round-the-clock help and information
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) has established a special hotline for the state’s veterans. It aims to assist veterans on issues such as financial emergencies, benefits information, home repairs, homelessness assistance and property tax questions. The hotline is staffed by fellow veterans or their family members. Agents are available to answer calls at night […]
- American Airlines apologizes for stopping veteran with service dog from boarding flight
American Airlines came under fire after refusing to allow a veteran to board a plane with his service dog on Sept. 20. Captain Jason Haag, a former Marine, was trying to take a flight to Virginia with his service dog Axel. They were returning home after attending the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in […]
- Study highlights PTSD among female Vietnam War veterans
A new study suggests that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more common among female veterans who served in the Vietnam War than previously thought. Around 20 percent of women who served in Vietnam as part of the U.S. military between the 1960s and 1970s have experienced PTSD. Many female veterans are still living with […]
- Kroger holds open job interviews for veterans nationwide
Kroger, one of the nation’s largest retailers, is doing its part to honor veterans by providing them with employment opportunities. The grocer held job interviews for veterans and their families on Sept. 15 at all 128 of its Michigan stores. They were hiring to fill around 1,400 jobs in the area. Kroger also attempted to […]