ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The chief of dental services for the St. Louis VA Medical Center has been placed on administrative leave, and an independent board will investigate how employees failed to properly sterilize dental equipment, potentially exposing more than 1,800 veterans to diseases including hepatitis and HIV.
Meanwhile Thursday, Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan says the House Veterans' Affairs committee will also investigate and plans a hearing in St. Louis.
The VA sent letters out Monday to 1,812 veterans who had dental procedures at the St. Louis center from Feb. 1, 2009, through March 11 of this year, saying reviews determined that some sterilization steps in preparing dental instruments were not in compliance with standards.
Officials say the infection risk is extremely low, and no illnesses have been uncovered so far.
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