A dentist at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wisconsin exposed nearly 600 veterans to infectious diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, say VA administrators.
From October 2015 to October 2016, a dentist at the Tomah VA exposed 592 veterans to infectious diseases by reusing his own dental equipment and “cleaning” it instead of using the sterile and disposable equipment provided by the VA, said Acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm, according to WEAU News.
“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” Brahm said. “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.”
Someone who was filling in for the dentist’s assistant noticed what he was doing and reported it.
The dentist, who has yet to be identified, hasn’t been fired after carelessly exposing hundreds of veterans to infectious diseases. Instead, he’s been reassigned to an administrative role.
The Tomah VA is in the process of notifying all veterans who received dental care at this center over the past year that they were exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. The VA center is also offering free screenings and free treatment to anyone who was infected by their dentist.