Monday, April 25, 2011

Ohio Panel Urges the Veterans Administration to Expand Testing of Dental Clinic Patients and Next of Kin

In the ongoing story of the Dayton Veterans Administration Medical Center and their dental clinic, there is a great call for testing.
An outside investigative task force Thursday urged the Veterans Administration to expand testing for possible infections from treatment by a southwest Ohio dentist accused of failing for years to change gloves and sterilize equipment between patients.

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association team's interim report also is seeking more documents, memos and information about policies and audits from the Dayton VA Medical Center, saying the material provided so far "is not complete and does not provide a clear picture or context on this situation or how it continued for such an extended period of time."

The VA has offered free screening to 535 patients who received invasive dental work such as extractions and fillings from the dentist from January 1992 through July 2010. The report Thursday urged testing for all patients seen by the dentist as well as deceased patients' next-of-kin. The Dayton Daily News reported that could mean thousands of tests.

Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the hospital association, said in a statement that expanding the scope of testing "will help ensure our region's veterans and their families are provided the highest quality of follow-up care after this incident and demonstrate the Dayton VA Medical Center's commitment to rectifying this situation."

The investigative task force includes doctors, nurses and other health care professionals and officials.
But, the Veterans Administration has quickly rejected this recommendation.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs is standing by its decision to limit the number of dental patients tested for infections after treatment in a southwest Ohio medical center.

The VA has offered to screen 535 patients who received invasive procedures over an 18-year period from a dentist who allegedly failed to change gloves or sterilize instruments at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

The department released a statement late Thursday following a task force's call for broader testing. The VA says it's important not to scare or cause undue stress to veterans who are not at risk. It says Dayton area veterans can rest assured that its decision was carefully reached.
The Veterans Administration was extremely negligent in allowing Dr. Dwight Pemberton to practice below the standard of care for decades. They owe the veterans and their relatives the solace that they have not been infected by his careless, reckless and negligent practice of dentistry.

If the VA will not do this on their own, I am positive either a Congressional Investigation will make such a recommendation to the President or a federal court will order the testing.


Two Veterans Administration Dental Clinic Pateints Test Positive for Hepatitis B

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