Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 31, 2013

Higgins questions VA miscommunication

Niagara Gazette — A local Congressman believes "warning signs" could have prevented an error that may have exposed patients at the Veterans Hospital in Buffalo to infection due to faulty insulin pen use. 

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo and Niagara Falls, on Thursday called for improved communication and coordination among VA officials to better safeguard area vets.

“What we see here is not an isolated incident at the VA but a disturbing pattern of errors and complete lack of adequate prevention measures following repeated red flags,” Higgins said in a release issued by his office. “The more we learn, the more alarming this becomes. We see a very poor track record by the VA to learn from their mistakes and better protect the health and welfare of our veterans.”

In a letter to the secretary of the U.S. Veterans Administration, Higgins outlined a series of warning signs which he said should have prevented the recent medical error at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo that is threatening the health of more than 700 veterans and their families. In his letter, Higgins provided a timeline that detailed what he described as the missed opportunities to correct and prevent risks of hospital acquired infections, including instances dating back years in which unsafe insulin pen injections were reported at VA hospitals in other parts of the country, including a December 2008 report from the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, a January 2009 report from a military hospital in Texas that cited single-patient use insulin pens were used on more than 2,000 patients and a January 2012 CDC Clinical Reminder that insulin pens "must never be used for more than one person."

Higgins also cited the numerous resources readily available to medical facilities and providers through the CDC “One and Only” campaign aimed at eliminating outbreaks resulting from unsafe injection practices. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results