August 16, 2008, Fargo, ND – The Fargo Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is notifying 159 veterans who underwent procedures involving ear, nose and throat endoscopes that they may have been exposed to an infection because the instrument used was not properly cleaned.
A VA inspection team – including Infection Control, Patient Safety and Public Health officials – determined that not all the endoscopes in question received proper disinfection treatment, according to a VA news release.
The inspection team verified that 159 patients faced a small risk of infection and is notifying the patients through phone calls and mailings.
The VA is offering free testing to the 159 patients and will provide them with additional medical care if needed. Patients with inquiries should call toll-free (866) 517-9363.