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Infection risk alert: Veterans at risk after heart operations

Veterans have been through war, been on duty to protect the people of the United States and deserve respect, which is why it's so disturbing when it's discovered that veterans have been exposed to potentially life-threatening health care practices. In Minnesota, 1,400 or more veterans have been exposed to or potentially exposed to a deadly infection.

The veterans have received notifications in the mail about their risk. Hospitals all around the country have reported that there was equipment being used in many heart surgeries that had been contaminated by a dangerous bacteria. That bacteria could be life-threatening or lead to other complications.

One person interviewed by the news talked about his experience with a surgery at a local VA Hospital. He said he received poor care, and he suffered a stroke as a result. Now, he's also facing news that he could have been exposed to deadly bacteria, an additional complication to his case.

Since he suffered from the stroke, he reported that he has suffered from several unexplained health issues. It's not clear if the health issues are from the bacteria, but it's a possibility.

Between 2012 and 2016, there were around 10,000 people potentially exposed to this bacteria, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. At least two cases have been linked to equipment used in Minnesota.

If a veteran suffers a serious injury or has been being treated for a disability, this kind of complication can make the prognosis much harder to determine. Those who are left badly injured may be entitled to disability benefits as a result of poor medical care.

Source: KARE 11, "VA warning veterans of infection risk from contaminated equipment," Aaron J. Lagoe and Steven Eckert, Dec. 22, 2016

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Coon Rapids, MN 55448

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