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VA halts surgeries at St. Louis hospital

Feb. 4, 2011 - 05:51AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 4, 2011 - 05:51AM  |  
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ST. LOUIS The VA Medical Center in St. Louis has halted surgeries after an inspection turned up possibly contaminated equipment.

A spokesperson for the John Cochran VA Medical Center told KSDK-TV on Thursday the hospital performs eight to 10 surgeries a day. The spokesperson says any veterans needing emergency surgery will be taken to private hospitals.

The hospital's medical director, RimaAnn O. Nelson, said in a statement that surgeries were canceled Wednesday after a regular inspection found spots on some surgical instrument trays and water stains on at least one instrument.

Nelson says no surgeries were performed Wednesday. Staff and vendors were inspecting and testing equipment Thursday.

Last summer, the VA notified 1,800 veterans of">possible exposure to HIV and hepatitis at the center's dental clinic. No known cases of diseases have been linked to that sterilization problem.

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