Russ Carnahan to meet with VA secretary about St. Louis medical center

Feb 7, 2011

UPDATED 1:45 p.m. Feb. 8, 2011:

Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois joined Missouri counterparts Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt in a letter Monday seeking the explanation from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Congressmen from both states also signed the letter, which said the latest issues at the site left the lawmakers "extremely troubled."

Original Story:

A St. Louis congressman will meet this week with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over sterilization concerns at the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

Democrat Russ Carnahan is a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He will meet with Shinseki on Thursday and reiterate his call for an independent and complete review of the St. Louis VA medical center.

Last week, the VA canceled all surgeries at the St. Louis center after staff found evidence of contamination of some operating room equipment. And last June, officials at Cochran sent letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they were potentially exposed to hepatitis and HIV due to sterilization problems at the dental clinic.

Most of those veterans were tested and no new cases of disease have been blamed on faulty sterilization.