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
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Opinion
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
Poll

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