Following the Veteran Administration’s press release and warnings that veterans may have contracted hepatitis or HIV from improperly sterilized endoscopes, the Siouxland Urology Testing Center has issued its own warnings. Like the VA hospital, the Siouxland Urology Testing Center contacted over 5,000 patients to tell them that they could face a slight risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV following cystscopic procedures. Like with the medical devises used in VA colonoscopies, the tools used by the Siouxland Urology Center include endoscopes, which carry water in tubes to clean cameras. The VA hospital warned patients that the tubes in their devises may not have been cleaned, and that fluid backflow may have carried contaminants to patients. It seems that the problem at Siouxland may have been made even more egregious mistakes by reusing saline bags and tubing for the cystscopsies. After Siouxland sent out patient warnings, five of those patients – all Iowa residents – filed suit.
Local media station KMEG notes that the letters sent to patients were sent “in an abundance of caution” and that the Siouxland Urology Center claimed to understand the trust patients placed in it and that it takes that responsibility seriously. But KSFY reports that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit don’t believe that at all. In fact, the plaintiffs allege that Siouxland knew about the practice of reusing medical equipment on different patients but continued the practice regardless. The negligence suit currently has five plaintiffs – William Collins, Theresa Kinney, Katherine Moir, James Peter and Gloria Todd. KSFY has also reported that many other patients have been seeking legal help in the wake of Siouxland’s warning letters. The office of the Attorney General Tom Miller may also be reviewing the situation.
If you are a patient who had a cystoscopy at Siouxland Urology between March 2002 and January 2009, you may want to have a blood test to check for an infection. If you wish to speak to staff at the Siouxland Urology Center about your procedure or obtaining a bloodtest, call 1-888-718-3456.