Congressman Demands Answers in Beaumont Admission

Congressman Demands Answers in Beaumont Admission

POSTED: Friday, February 6, 2009 - 5:51pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:23pm

EL PASO--- Time is ticking for leaders at William Beaumont Army Medical Center to produce some answers, after the hospital admitted they misused medical supplies and have put the health of more than 2,000 diabetic patients at risk.

New Mexico Congressman Harry Teague, who sits on the Veteran's Affairs Subcommittee for Health, sent the hospital's administration an e-mail demanding answers for the hospital's mistake.

The hospital announced Thursday a problem specifically dealing with insulin-injection pens used to treat diabetics admitted into the hospital.

While nurses changed out the needle tips for every patient, the pens themselves were used over and over on multiple patients.

It was a mistake made continuously since August 2007.
A mistake Teague wants the hospital to answer for.

"On the 13th of February we'll have all the information and you know if we're not satisfied with the information then we can take the next step," said Teague in a phone interview from Washington D.C.

February 13th is the deadline Congressman Teague has set for hospital administrators to answer eleven questions.

Some of the questions Teague is asking, have already been answered.
"What happens in the event you do not have up-to-date contact information for patients who may be at risk?" read the e-mail.

Hospital staff tells Newschannel Nine they will take whatever means necessary to get in touch with patients, by tracking those who've moved away.

But several of Teague's questions have yet to be answered.
Here are just a few:
"How did this incorrect procedure come to be practiced at WBAMC?"
"What are all the health implications for a patient subjected to this incorrect procedure?"
"What specific step is WBAMC taking to ensure that this does not happen again?"

"If there is a discrepancy in those answers, there could be a hearing at that time," said Teague, referring to a potential Veteran's Affairs committee hearing.

Teague will present the hospital's answers to the VA committee chairman next week.

"We are going to find out and we are going to get everybody the medical attention that they need to see if this has any effect on their health," he said.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, nearly 300 of the patients affected were notified.
105 had been tested.

If you have any concerns, you are asked to call the hospital call center at 1-866-770-01-94.

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