Ann Arbor VA

Ann Arbor VA Has Dirty Surgical Equipment

Ann Arbor VA

Dirty surgical equipment at Michigan’s Ann Arbor VA caused the health care system to cancel surgeries for a week. The dirt got into the system because of a water break, supposedly.

VA employees at the facility said micro-particulates were found on surgical equipment the week of November 9. Micro-particulates can cause dangerous infections following surgery. The plumbing problem caused the micro-particulates to contaminate the surgical equipment.

According to VA spokesman Derek Atkinson, “There were never any veterans put in danger because of this situation… The big thing is it’s been an inconvenience for our veterans.”

That excuse may sound simple enough if it were not for repeat problems at the facility’s Sterile Supply Service. Last year, a whistleblower claimed the facility lacked trained staff and procedures to ensure surgical tools were properly sterilized and stored. The Office of Special Counsel concluded the facility failed to keep patients safe at Ann Arbor VA.

Ann Arbor VA circled the wagons, claimed they did nothing wrong, and then complained that the letter put Ann Arbor VA in a negative light.

Who should we believe? Was the Office of Special Counsel lying? Is VA being truthful?

As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

RELATED: Minneapolis VA Surgical Department Shutdown

Other VA facilities have had similar problems Minneapolis VA shut down its surgical department in September after foreign particles were found on equipment after being run through the sterilization process. One whistleblower in Minneapolis claimed the facility lacked properly trained staff and equipment to adequately sterilize equipment.

Whenever it comes to VA, where there is smoke, there is always a fire.

Have you ever heard stories about dirty surgical equipment at your local VA?

@deptvetaffairs - Thanks for keeping it dirty VA... #VAisLying Click to Tweet


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  1. Letting the VA get away with screwing the veterans and getting away with unethical behavior is no one’s fault but the Veterans themselves. We as veterans have enormous power and that power needs to be displayed right away. All veterans need to organize in the millions and march mainly on Washington, DC and for those who cannot travel march onto their local VA Medical Centers and VA Affair Departments. In the millions, we can close down DC for weeks. March in front of the White House, Congress, and the Veterans Department. Tell the President, Congress and Secretary McDonald (the green berate who served in Nam and O’Bama’s yes man) to immediately fix the VA to perform its functions in favor of veterans. Fire unethical bureaucrats immediately, fire leave with pay bureaucrats who have been on paid leave for an unexplained extended time, fire bureaucrats who have retaliated against whistleblowers, make good on whistleblowers, no pensions for bureaucrats who have resigned but had unethical issues, fire those bureaucrats who have plead the fifth in front of Congress or at the minimum put them on leave without pay and reduction in benefits and many other actions against the VA to numerous to mention. If the President, Congress and the VA Secretary do not enforce the changes, we should give them 16 hours to get out of town or million of veterans will physically throw them out. If the police or federal agents get in our way, they will also be thrown out. Enough of this B***S***.

  2. I thought that was standard practice at all VA’s , to have dirty surgical equipment . I want private care. Dismantle VA.

  3. This is typical of exactly what makes he VA completely unworkable for veterans. Lying to cover up any problem is the default VA response. How does one become comfortable receiving health care from an entity that is systemically committed to lying? VA surely tells the truth occasionally, but how is a veteran to know which statements are institutional lies and which are the occasional random truth. You can’t fix VA without establishing some sort of policy that prohibits and punishes these institutional lies.

    1. Blatant lying and such indifference to their veteran patients it borders on criminal.
      They act this way because they know there is zero anyone can or will do about it.

  4. A few months back, my new PCP asked if I had ever had a “colonoscopy”? I told him VA wanted to do one about ten years ago. He then said, “It’s a good thing you didn’t. Because there was some bad things happening back then!”
    I said, “Yea, I know!” He then said, “God must have been looking out for you!”

    It seems some physicians want to do right. But because of upper management. It’s hard for them.
    I’m not sure if he’s being truthful or not. But maybe some things are changing down here in Florida. Or at lease in Orange City, Florida.

    I still don’t trust VA after so many bad things coming out over the past many decades. Things like this just don’t make me feel any better about what’s going on at any VHA.
    I just would like to see all VHA’s come clean on the things they do. Admit to their shortcomings and treat veterans with the respect we have earned….

  5. The Office of special Counsel is a waste of time and has been shown to either obfuscate your claims and are very prejudicial to veterans specifically. The veterans prefence statue is their worst nightmare when a veteran makes a disclosure a will never represent you.

    Clarissa Pinheiro at OSC needs to find another job . Chauncey Lawson at OSC needs to find another job. Catherine Mullen at OSC needs to find another job. Joseph Scaturo at OSC needs to find another job. Creating a hostile working environment while you have veterans preference affects a condition of employment when you make disclosures and they negate your claims stating it is not within their jurisdiction and it belongs to the EEOC.
    wilmington Delaware had an outbreak of Legionella and an ENT doctor who admittedly has not been washing his hands.
    As a matter of fact, the dude would fart down the hallway and had his priviledges limited at the facility for years.
    The SPD department there had dirty instruments there and that after making a disclosure about this, they used these employees to make statements about me as though they felt threatened.
    I am so glad I will be testifying as a witness in another wihistleblowers case. I just show them my multiple VA awards including the Secretary’s award to show at what lengths the VA will go to to discredit you. Just Ask Chris Algieri Special Agent at VA OIG, who has been asking Melissa Foster , whether I am a danger to myself of others. It is written in my medical record of this contact and communication that the OIG had with the social worker

    If the VA is that desperate, they need some help in doing what is right. The matter that is of great concern is that if they are treating their own veterans this way, what atrocities are our own government are doing in these foreign countries to create conflict?

    We Americans have a stake in the American Pie , while these foreign entities are trying to put a dagger through it.

    Call Robin Warren at Wilmington, Delaware VA (302) 633-5201 and ask her about her military service and her commitment to telling the truth since she likes to boast about the 82nd Airborne.

    1. @CorpsmanuP,
      I don’t know how true this is. Last night I read where “Turkey is now on ISIS’s side”!
      This one I’m sure IS TRUE. After the first of 2016, Obama is sending a large contingency of the 101st or 82nd Airborne to Iraq.

      Yesterday, Obama and Hollande, of France, agreed to fight ISIS together. Russia and China, who are doing more than either of us, was not mentioned..

      Things are going to get messy at VAMC’s, VBA’s & VHA’s in the coming months. Possibly years…..
      If they don’t get their heads outta their asses…..

      1. The framework and logistics of these 2 elite units have been compromised and they have been relying too much on technology.
        I just wondered, head to head with these units against an unkown force is even feasible.
        The US on an open policy supposedly follows the rules of engagement.
        When you fund smaller groups to fight in their own country this approach does not work either.
        I just wonder , why would you send in the 101 or 82nd, Marines or SOCOM, and worry about the fallout at the same time?
        Something smells like a Bob story in the US strategics in dealing with these meatloafs. Direct Action Missions are the forefront of this type of warfare. Collateral damage leaks seem to be the weapon of choice to negate US action. They cry like babies , when you shred a few diaperheads over there.

      2. Yea, like dropping leaflets to warn the enemy BEFORE one attacks.
        Since warfare began eons ago, collateral damage has always occurred. Too bad, so sad.
        Sometimes it’s better to send in small contingencies to get the job done. That way everyone knows what to do.

  6. “[One whistleblower in Minneapolis claimed the facility lacked properly trained staff and equipment to adequately sterilize equipment.]”

    You can have the most high-tech, state of the art equipment in the world that cost zillions sitting in a facility, but what good is it when you have a room full of ingrate apes that probably only know how to push the big red button to make big machine work??!!

    *Plus, with all things VA, it’s just a time-saver to use the same bloody instruments from body to body because reading instructions is too hard.*

    Yeah, I was being flippant for a reason, as this IS a very serious matter. I in-fact have no less than -2- infectious diseases from unsterile surgical environment and/or tainted untested blood from -1- surgery…a basket of gifts that just keeps on giving every day of my life. Would not wish this on anyone. Could count this as -3- if you want to include MRSA and then there was that C-DIFF I obtained from VA…that C-DIFF took years to get some semblance of ‘normal’ and have accepted that will never happen.

    That’s from what the VA considers; “[There were never any veterans put in danger because of this situation… The big thing is it’s been an inconvenience for our veterans.]”

    No…in VA-Speak THAT means it’s an inconvenience to the VA to have this publicized because this is FAR from the first, second, or 20th time the VA has had issues with proper sterilization procedures. From VA dental clinicians going from patient to patient with the same bloody tools from previous patients at the Dayton VAMC to several VAMC’s across USA not properly sterilizing Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Medical Devices…and in the latter I clearly remember the VA officially blaming the company that manufactured them not being clear enough on proper sterilization procedures back in 2006 or so…to the outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease at much higher rates than the private medical community, in various VAMC’s and Veteran Group Homes right up to this Summer where 13 Veterans died in Quincy, Illinois VA Retirement Medical Facility with 54 other Veterans infected…here’s THAT link to the story that was kept relatively quiet:

    Something is STERILE or NON-STERILE!!!! Blaming this on a water leak simply is a diversion to the fact that the VA more than likely NEVER cleaned…errr…sterilized the equipment that got LEAKED ON.

    Don’t you love how the VA is quite steadfast on projecting blame rather than manning-up and owning it? When in doubt, sterilize again. Lazy bastards!!!!

    Want to gamble on the strong possibility that whomever was responsible, the English Language was far from being a second or third language working there or is not certified to operate the sterilization equipment…other than pushing that big red button??

  7. 11/25/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Is the VA still using the old recalled equipment?

    I had posted this once before but the uploading of information got complicated a few months ago.

    Did the other newspapers relay your post information back to you?


    Don Karg

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