(CNN) -- A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan. *mal left out* Dr. Gina Michael, the association chief of staff at the hospital, told the affiliate that some dental technicians broke protocol by handwashing tools before putting them in cleaning machines. The instruments were supposed to only be put in the cleaning machines, Michael said. The handwashing started in February 2009 and went on until March of this year, the hospital told KSDK. VA hospital may have infected 1,800 veterans with HIV - CNN.com the figures of 1800 is most likely the worst case scenario.....this is horrible.....hand washing went on for nearly a year before anyone discovered it?