Senator urges OIG to probe sterilization protocols at Connecticut VA hospital

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is asking the U.S. Office of Inspector General to investigate the West Haven (Conn.) VA hospital's sterilization procedures after several whistle-blower complaints surfaced, the Post-Chronicle reports.

Issues at the hospital caused medical procedures to be postponed or moved elsewhere at the last minute, whistle-blowers told Mr. Blumenthal's office. The West Haven VA is also accused of outsourcing an unusually large number of VA medical procedures to Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital.

"These impacts are plainly unacceptable — such as the number of monthly procedures plummeting from 360 to between 50 and 90," as well as the number of surgeries transferred to Yale New Haven, Mr. Blumenthal said.

Mr. Blumenthal seeks an investigation after a VA survey earlier this year found about 50 shortcomings in the sterilization department and prompted the hospital to tighten procedures.

"I'm raising these issues at the highest level of the VA, as well as asking for an inspector general report," Mr. Blumenthal said. "We need to know what will be done to assure that all the equipment and procedures meet the highest standards of safety, quality and cleanliness." 

Becker's reached out to the VA Connecticut Healthcare System for a statement and will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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