Apr 7, 2009 | 1
At least one patient who may have undergone a colon cancer screen with contaminated equipment at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility has tested positive for HIV.
The patient, whom the VA hasn’t identified, is among the more than 10,000 vets who are being urged to get tested for the AIDS-causing virus as well as for hepatitis B and C, after the VA determined they may have been among those who received colonoscopies with improperly cleaned endoscopes. Eleven others have tested positive for hep C, and five more for hep B, the VA said in a press release.
Mar 30, 2009 | 5
More than 10,000 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who have received colonoscopies in the past six years may have been exposed to infectious diseases, including HIV and hepatitis B and C, according to the Associated Press. (Hat tip to ProMEDmail.) Unsanitary equipment at three VA facilities (in Augusta, Ga., Miami, Fl. and Murfreesboro, Tenn.) has prompted officials to notify patients about the potential risk.
The procedure, which allows doctors to examine the large intestine and portions of the small intestine via a tiny video camera attached to a flexible tube, is a diagnostic exam routinely recommended for people 50 years of age and older to detect tumors or polyps that might turn malignant. The three facilities in question have notified patients from as far back as 2003 to get blood tests. The Miami chapter of the 2.2-million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, is advising members who received colonoscopies at any VA clinic to get tested, the Miami Herald reports.
Dec 15, 2008 | 5
For about a decade, public health officials have been aggressively pushing colonoscopy, a procedure that inspects the colon for growths using a tube and camera, as the gold standard for detecting tumors while they're still treatable. But controversial new research indicates that the method only reduces deaths from tumors closer to the rectum, where they are more common and easily visible.
Colonoscopy cut deaths from tumors in the large intestine, or left side, by 67 percent, but made no difference for people whose cancers were on the right, deeper inside the colon, according to a new study published online today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The researchers St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto compared the claims records of more than 10,000 Canadians who died of the disease with those of 51,000 who did not. They speculate that imperfect screening by surgeons and internists, who aren’t as skilled as gastroenterologists at performing the procedure, and differences in the appearance of tumors on the left and right sides, may be to blame.
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