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colonoscopy risk of hiv ( Donation Reference xxx)
Aug 4, 2010

Dear doctor, i had a colonoscopy procedure 15 days ago. my concern its about the horror notice about de Veterans in Miami. do i have to worry about? Do you recomend hiv test after this kind of procedures? y had a kind of diarrea, since 2 days after the procedure. the frequency of the diarrea is 2 times a day with smooth "pupu" times with water a litle water. what do you think.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Relax Max. What happened at the Miami Veterans Hospital was an aberration. The endoscopy equipment being used there was not sanitized according to the manufacturer's instructions. In essence they were not adhering to universal precautions because of faulty sterilization procedures. The V.A. Determined 2,400 veterans could have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens (HIV, hepatitis C, etc.) during the period of May 2004 to March 2009. According to the Miami Herald three Miami area vets among the group brought in for testing as a result of this incident have tested positive for HIV. We do not know if the patients were contaminated by exposure to the improperly sterilized equipment or if their exposure occurred afterward (unprotected sex, intravenous drugs, etc.). Please note colonoscopies are done countless times per day in medical facilities around the globe. The chance of contracting HIV or hepatitis C from a colonoscopy are similar to being struck by an errant bolt of lightening on a sunny day while simultaneously being squished to smithereens by a falling meteor. Could it happen? Sure, it's possible, but the likelihood is so extremely remote that you certainly shouldn't worry about it, OK? HIV testing is not warranted.

Dr. Bob


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