Miami VA hospital chief out in colonoscopy scandal
Mary Berrocal, head of the Miami Veterans Administration hospital when more than 2,500 local veterans were told the colonoscopies they had there might have been performed with improperly cleaned equipment, was removed from her position Wednesday by U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. Berrocal had been under fire since May 2009, when the national VA revealed that as many as 11,000 U.S. military veterans at VA facilities in Miami, Georgia and Tennessee might have had colonoscopies with equipment that had been simply rinsed between uses rather than sterilized by steam and chemicals as required by the manufacturer. Of the more than 2,500 South Florida vets affected, blood tests done after the potential exposure showed five positive for HIV, eight for hepatitis C and one for hepatitis B.
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