Category Archives: V.A. hospitals

Seattle VA hospital strands veteran outside ER

This is a restored post from 2015.

Seattle Times: When Donald Siefken drove up to the Seattle VA hospital emergency room earlier this year with a broken foot, all he asked for was a little help getting inside. Instead, a hospital employee who answered Siefken’s cellphone call told him to call 911 himself, then hung up on him, Siefken said.

Frustrated to tears, the 64-year-old retired truck driver and Army vet from Kennewick placed the emergency call while parked just feet away from the ER entrance. “They won’t come out and get me, do you believe that?” Siefken asked an emergency dispatcher, his voice wavering. “They told me to call 911 and hung up on me.”

In response to inquiries about Siefken’s case, a VA spokesman initially told The Seattle Times the hospital’s response was appropriate. “I know it sounds counterintuitive because someone is just 10 feet away, but it is our policy to do that,” said Chad Hutson, spokesman for the Veteran Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. “Our policy is no different than Harborview or Swedish or other hospitals in Washington.”

But that’s not the case. And, after a reporter requested Siefken’s medical file and other records, the hospital changed its story, issuing a written statement earlier this month.

“After a complete review regarding this Veteran’s visit to the VA Puget Sound Seattle campus emergency room, we have determined we did not do the right thing to ensure the Veteran had assistance into the emergency room,” the statement said. It added that ER personnel “should have called the appropriate staff to come and assist the patient, ensuring he made it into the emergency room safely.” The hospital now plans “corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again to one of our Veterans,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, Dr. William Campbell, the hospital’s chief of staff, also met with Siefken to apologize. “He first called me on Friday, and he was all over himself apologizing,” Siefken said, before Tuesday’s meeting. Citing privacy concerns, the VA declined The Times’ request to observe Siefken’s meeting with Campbell.

“Just wouldn’t listen”

Siefken’s odyssey to a formal apology began on the afternoon of Feb. 27.

While getting ready to drive his wife from their Kennewick home to catch a red-eye flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Siefken “stepped down funny and heard a snap,” he said. During the long drive, his foot started to swell and hurt. “So I dropped my wife off at the airport, and headed right up to the VA.” By the time Siefken arrived, shortly after 3:30 a.m., his foot had swollen to the “size of a football” and was throbbing with pain, he said.

Siefken parked outside the ER on the ambulance roundabout and, because he couldn’t walk, called the front desk for help. The worker who answered “couldn’t for the life of him understand why someone from Kennewick was trying to get treated in Seattle,” Siefken said. “I tried and tried to explain it to him, but he just wouldn’t listen.” After an argument, Siefken said, the employee told him, “ ‘No, we’re not going to come get you. You’re going to have to call 911 and you’ll have to pay for that.’ ”

Siefken dialed 911 at about 3:40 a.m., records show. “They won’t come out and get me in a wheelchair,” he told a dispatcher. “How far away from the building are you?” she asked. “Well, I’m right by the ambulance entrance,” he said.

By 3:47 a.m., a Seattle fire captain and three firefighters manning Engine Company 30 arrived to wheel Siefken into the ER. Staff members examined him, took X-rays, put a boot on his foot and prescribed Hydrocodone for his pain.

Siefken, who declined to take the medication for fear he’d be unsafe to drive, drove back home to Kennewick after the hospital wouldn’t put him up for the night. He arrived four hours later, took a painkiller and crawled into bed.

When The Times asked about the case, Hutson initially said the hospital’s policy — like all other VA and private hospitals — was to call 911 to summon emergency medical responders to handle such a situation. “It has to do with liability and to make sure, like in this case, that the right personnel are there to safely extract the person from the vehicle,” Hutson said. (Hospital personnel aren’t the “right personnel” to safely move a patient?)

He added that the VA employee who talked to Siefken had asked, “ ‘Can you call 911?’ And he said, ‘yes.’ This was not an emergency situation, so we didn’t need to make the call for him.”

But that’s not how it happened, Siefken said. “My pain level was a 10 on a scale of 10,” he said, “and they just hung up on me.”

At least one other hospital and the Washington State Hospital Association noted hospital policies for such situations can vary.

“If we have a person that comes up our ambulance ramp in their personal vehicle and can’t make it in, we will transfer them into the emergency department,” said Susan Gregg, spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center.

Against federal law

A federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) generally requires most hospitals to conduct a medical screening of anyone who shows up seeking emergency treatment. The law’s so-called “250-yard rule” clarifies that hospitals have an “affirmative obligation” to treat patients — whether they make it inside an ER or not — when they arrive on a hospital campus.

“If you are close to the emergency department, they should basically come up and wheel you into the hospital,” said Barbara Tomar, federal affairs director for the Washington, D.C.-based American College of Emergency Physicians.

EMTALA applies primarily to hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. The law doesn’t technically apply to VA hospitals, but the VA voluntarily complies with its policies to provide emergency care “to individual patients presenting to the Emergency Department,” the agency’s Emergency Medicine Handbook shows.

Yet, even in its written statement conceding it mishandled the case, Seattle’s VA hospital noted it does not consider Siefken’s situation an emergency. “Policies used to make the recommendation to call 911 for assistance, at the time of the emergency room visit, did not apply to this particular situation due to the non­emergent needs of the Veteran,” the statement said.

Tomar, whose organization represents 33,000 trained emergency doctors, said a broken foot can pose complications and is widely considered an injury that warrants emergency care subject to the federal law.

On Tuesday, while waiting to meet the hospital’s chief of staff, Siefken said his foot has not fully healed. “They said they’re sorry and they’re going to change things so this doesn’t happen again,” Siefken added. “That’s all I really wanted.”

DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Colorado VA kept secret wait lists for vets' mental health care

misadministration
Par for the course under Obama’s administration. See also:

From Fox News: A new government watchdog group found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Denver violated policy by keeping improper wait lists to track mental health care that veterans received.
Investigators with the VA Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower and former VA employee Brian Smother’s claim that staff kept unauthorized lists instead of using the department’s official wait list system.
That made it impossible to know if veterans who needed referrals for group therapy and other mental health care were getting timely assistance, according to the report. The internal investigation also criticized record-keeping in PTSD cases at the VA’s facility in Colorado Springs.
Patients there often went longer than the department’s stated goals of getting an initial consult within a week and treatment within 30 days, investigators found. In one case, a veteran killed himself 13 days after contacting the clinic, which was supposed to see him within a week.
Investigators said the unofficial lists did not always identify the veteran or requested date of care, and they could not determine how many veterans were waiting to receive help and for how long, even with the help of staff at the facilities.
“My worst fears have been realized in this Inspector General’s report that Chairman Johnson and I demanded,” Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardener said in a statement. “It highlights even more VA mismanagement and lack of accountability in Colorado. This cannot happen again, and it’s time for the VA to finally wake up and ensure our men and women are getting the best care possible. I will continue to work with Chairman Johnson to ensure the accountability that somehow the VA refuses to accept.”
Smothers, who worked at the VA in Denver as a peer support specialist on the post-traumatic stress disorder clinical support team, informed Gardner and his fellow senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, last about the VA facilities in Denver and nearby Golden using wait lists for mental health services from 2012 until last September. Gardner (I think they mean Smothers here) resigned from his post at the VA shortly after going public, citing retaliation from VA officials in Colorado.
“Putting veterans on secret wait lists is not acceptable,” Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said in a statement. “The VA should implement changes to provide the highest quality care for our veterans and hold wrongdoers accountable. I thank Brian Smothers, the whistleblower who bravely came forward to shed a light on these unacceptable practices at the VA so they can be prevented in the future.”
Speaking to the Associated Press, Smothers said he was disappointed the report didn’t make clearer that VA staff knew full well what they were doing. “We renamed the files ‘interest lists’ so people wouldn’t know we were breaking the rules” on how to maintain wait lists, Smothers said.
The VA Eastern Colorado Health Care system said in a statement that while it agreed with much of the report’s findings it bristled at the idea that its wait lists were “secret.” The statement says that “nothing about this process was secret” and that it was discontinued once staff became aware it violated VA policies.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Photo depicts veteran lying on the ground while waiting for care at the VA

vet-sleeping
UNACCEPTABLE. Heads need to roll for this.
From WSBTV: (DURHAM, N.C.) A couple posted photos on Facebook and said veterans waited for hours in pain inside the Durham VA Medical Center.
Stephen McMenamin, a former U.S. Marine, was there for treatment, and his wife took the pictures. “My wife found it upsetting, so she took a couple pictures,” he said.
He said a veteran on the ground was using his bag of medication for a pillow after being denied an available reclining chair.
The nurse started yelling at him, telling him he can’t do that. He’s like, ‘I can’t get up and I won’t get up. I will be here until you can see me. Can I please have a blanket?’” McMenamin said. That Facebook post was shared more than 80,000 times.
McMenamin said they started hearing from other veterans and their families. “All these people, and it was, you know, it’s been kind of heartbreaking,” he said.
The hospital’s chief executive nurse responded and told McMenamin that the matter is being investigated.
Rep. Robert Pittenger said this just reaffirms his push to hold VA employees more accountable. “It’s absolutely tragic,” he said. “It’s frankly reflective of what we’ve seen from the VA, and that’s why I sponsored last year and this year, the VA Accountability Act.”
Commander of the North Carolina VFW said things in the state have improved drastically, but he said if an investigation confirms what is depicted in these photos, then the staff responsible should be fired. “There’s no question about it, I mean, there’s no acceptable reason why this should have happened,” Commander Doug Blevins said.
Statement from the Medical Center Director DeAnne Seekins:
“We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review.
h/t Twitchy
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Florida VA hospital left deceased veteran in shower room for 9 hours, report finds

There IS NO EXCUSE for this. Wait until you see what the hospital said about it. Warning: My response to them is NSFW.
misadministration
From Fox News: An internal report blames staffers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida for leaving the body of a deceased veteran to decompose in a shower for nine hours and then trying to cover it up.
The 24-page report concluded that hospice staffers at the Bay Pines VA hospital failed to provide appropriate post-mortem care to the veteran’s body, Fox 13 Tampa reports.
The report found hospice staff put the veteran’s body in a hallway and left it there for an unspecified time, the station reported. Staff then put the veteran’s body in the shower room and did not “check on the status of the decedent…for over nine hours.”
suzanne-klinker-va-bay-pines

The Medical Center Director for Bay Pines, Suzanne Klinker. From her bio,”With dedication to the organization’s I CARE values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence, she oversees health care delivery for the entire organization which includes one large medical center, eight outpatient clinics and 4,000 employees with an operating budget of more than $700 million.” Contact the women dedicated to respect and excellence at 727-398-9300.

The report also found that a staff member then “falsely documented” the incident, Fox 13 reported.
The investigative report said that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.
“The report details a total failure on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and an urgent need for greater accountability,” Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., told the station. “Unsurprisingly, not a single VA employee has been fired following this incident, despite a clear lack of concern and respect for the veteran. The men and women who sacrificed on behalf of our nation deserve better.”
The unnamed veteran died in February after spending time in hospice care. The hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board ordered retraining for staff.
Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel told the Tampa Bay Times hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable.
the_finger
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Head of Democratic Party Donna Brazile: no Obama economic recovery, people are in despair

Yesterday, I received a rare phone call from my brother. He just needed to commiserate with the only person he knows who isn’t liberal and who shares his political views about the upcoming presidential election.
He complained that his wife, their two adult sons, and his friends all support Hillary Clinton and think Obama is great.
I said, “Have you asked them why they like Obama?”
He answered, “They say the economy is great! Unemployment is low, interest rates are low, the economy recovered from the recession.” He also said that his wife thinks Donald Trump is “crazy”.
Not surprisingly, they get their news from the MSM and don’t pay attention to the Alternative Media. God help us from intentionally low-information voters, otherwise called useful idiots.
So this post is for my brother. Perhaps he can email this to his sons, wife, and friends. (Probably not. This is the same brother who was silent in 2008 when one of his friends, whom I don’t know, accused me of being “evil” and a “racist”. My brother had forwarded an email from me, without my consent, of a photo of Obama carrying Fareed Zakaria’s then-recently published book, The Post-American World. My brother then very helpfully forwarded his friend’s email to me, in which his friend called me an “evil racist”.)
obama-with-fareed-zakarias-book
Donna Brazile, a longtime Democrat apparatchik who, in July 2016, replaced Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as Chair of the Democratic Party Committee, sent an email to John Podesta, Chair of Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign committee, in which Brazile said:

“I think people are more in despair about how things are – yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs… HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent…”

Here’s a screenshot of Brazile’s email from WikiLeaks:
donna-brazile-to-john-podesta-one-a-week-email
What Brazile wrote in her email is confirmed by a recent Harvard University Business School study, “Problems Unsolved & A Nation Divided: The State of U.S. Competitiveness 2016,” which found that the Obama economic recovery is a myth. As the 72-page report’s title suggests, not only has the economy not recovered from the 2008 recession, it has continued to deteriorate.
In the words of the report’s authors Michael E. Porter, et al.:

“America retains and enjoys many strengths. However, various economic indicators show that the U.S. economy has failed to deliver strong growth and shared prosperity for nearly two decades. These structural issues pre-date the Great Recession and are compounded by political paralysis. […]

While a slow recovery is underway, fundamentally weak U.S. economic performance continues and is leaving many Americans behind. The federal government has made no meaningful progress on the critical policy steps to restore U.S. competitiveness in the last decade or more. […]

U.S. competitiveness has been eroding since well
before the Great Recession. America’s economic
challenges are structural, not cyclical. The weak
recovery reflects the erosion of competitiveness, as
well as the inability to take the steps necessary to
address growing U.S. weaknesses.

Our failure to make progress reflects an unrealistic and ineffective national discourse on the reality of the challenges facing the U.S. economy and the steps needed to restore shared prosperity. Business has too often failed to play its part in recent decades, and a flawed U.S. political system has led to an absence of progress in government, especially in Washington.”

You can read the report here.

For those who prefer charts instead of words, the following charts from the Harvard study — on labor force participation, job creation, news business formation, productivity, household income, entitlements vs. investments — all show a continuing decline under the Obama presidency, except for the gap between entitlements and investment, which has widened.
us-economic-performance-chartsSource: ZeroHedge
Donald Trump is right in his concluding remarks at the third presidential debate last Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, on why the American people should elect him as president:

“When I started this campaign, I started it very strongly. It’s called ‘Make America Great Again’. We’re going to make America again.
We have a depleted military, it has to be helped, it has to be fixed. We have the greatest people on earth in our military. We don’t take care of our veterans. We take care of illegal immigrants — people that come into the country illegally — better than we take care of our vets. That can’t happen. Our policemen and women are disrespected. We need law and order, but we need justice too. Our inner cities are a disaster: you get shot walking to the store; they have no education, they have no jobs.
I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in ten lifetimes. All she’s done is talk — to the African Americans and to the Latinos. But they get the vote and then they come back, they say ‘we’ll see you in four years.’
We are going to make America strong again. We are going to make America great again, and it has to start now. We cannot take four more years of Barack Obama, and [pointing to Hillary] that’s what you get when you get her.


Donald Trump is not perfect or a saint; he is his own worst enemy. But if you’re sick of what’s happened to this country for the last 8 or more years, if you are no better, or even worse, since Obama became president in 2009, then voting for Hillary Clinton is the stupidest thing you can ever do.
eric-trump-tweet-on-hillary-and-jobs
Listen to what she says: Hillary Clinton has no new ideas. If you elect her, you’ll get not only four more years of Obama, America will be saddled with a predominately left-wing Supreme Court who will set this country’s course for generations to come.
the-hillary-supreme-court
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Deepak Chopra: Trump is “emotionally retarded, maybe mentally retarded”

If you aren’t angry about our almost $20 TRILLION debt, the Obamacare mandate, the Iran Deal, the Veterans Administration scandal, the IRS targeting TEA Party organizations, and the multitude of ineptness coming out of this administration and congress, maybe YOU are emotionally retarded.
chopra
From PennLive: Deepak Chopra, one of the most recognizable figures in alternative medicine, said Donald Trump is popular because he’s giving our collective psyche permission to express the darkest demons.
“I would never say this unless I believed it was 100 percent true, but he represents the racist, the bigot, the one who’s prejudiced, the one who is full of fear and hatred, the one who represents emotional retardation of a three-year old,” Chopra said during a conservative radio show this week, according to The Daily Beast.
Chopra, who regularly practices yoga and meditation, said the presumptive GOP nominee is full of fear. “He is angry. He has a lot of hatred. He pouts, he’s belligerent, he’s emotionally retarded,” he said, according to The Daily Beast.
Chopra said he wouldn’t describe anyone as “retarded.”
“But he’s bringing out the worst in me, because I, too, am fearful of what would happen to the United States of America and the rest of the world if, God forbid, he became president,” he said, according to The Daily Beast.
However, after briefly regretting his own negative thoughts, Chopra upped the ante. “Maybe I was too kind when I said he was emotionally retarded, maybe he’s mentally retarded too,” he said.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

VA accused of shredding documents needed for veterans' claims

If you’ve read about the past scandals of the VA, this will come as absolutely no surprise to you.
misadministration
From Fox News: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been systematically shredding documents related to veterans’ claims — possibly affecting benefits for veterans, according to an investigation by the inspector general.
Investigators with the Department of Veterans Affairs audited 10 veterans benefits offices around the country and found that staff were destroying mail related to claims, according to a report by Military.com, citing an OIG report released on Thursday.
The surprise audit, which was conducted at the offices on July 20, 2015, came after reports of such document shredding in Los Angeles, the website reported.
Investigators reportedly sifted through some 438,000 documents awaiting destruction at the regional offices. Of 155 claims-related documents, 69 were found to have been incorrectly placed in shred bins at six of the regional offices, according to Military.com.
Those offices were in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Reno, Nev. At least two of the 69 documents headed to the shredder directly affected benefits and nine had the potential to, according to the website. 
The OIG report concluded that, “The potential effect should not be minimized.”
Considering that there are 56 [VA regional offices], and if weekly shredding is conducted, it is highly likely that claims-related documents at other VAROs are being improperly scheduled for destruction that could result in loss of claims and evidence, incorrect decisions and delays in claims processing,” the report said.
Obama-laughs--300x199
Click for more from Military.com
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Suspended VA bosses to return to agency jobs next week

Only in a government job can you majorly screw up, receive a paid leave, and then return to your position.
You would think that these employees would have some kind of remorse. You would think.
misadministration
AZCentral.com reports that Lance Robinson and Brad Curry, two Department of Veterans Affairs administrators in Phoenix, will return to work Monday, 19 months after they were put on paid leave and given termination notices. They were suspended at the outset of a crisis over delayed patient care.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Legislative and Political Director Dan Caldwell said the VA “has shown that it does not take accountability, or Congress, seriously” by allowing Robinson and Curry to return to work. He said the message sent to the public is that the agency is protecting its own instead of helping veterans.
Robinson and Curry have declined interview requests since they were placed on suspension. Since May 2014, they’ve received hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay and benefits while not working.
Robinson and Curry were the subject of internal probes to determine their “knowledge, involvement and culpability” in patient-scheduling fraud and retaliation against whistleblowers.
Read all of the disgusting details here.
obama-finger
See also:

DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

VA doesn't have 'legal authority' to require executives to return $400K they received in job transfer scam

Earlier this month I told you about how The Department of Veterans Affairs reportedly paid out more than $142 million in performance bonuses in 2014 despite a string of scandals inside the agency.
The bonuses continued even after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned last year amid the scandal over falsified wait-times, suspended certain bonuses. But that move only restricted bonuses for senior execs in the embattled Veterans Health Administration. 
The VA continued to pay bonuses to other workers in other departments, including those facing their own controversies. 
misadministration
Now the AP is reporting this wonderful news:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will not try to recoup more than $400,000 from two senior VA executives who manipulated the hiring system to get their jobs of choice and received hundreds of thousands in extra money to relocate.
The most transparent administration evah has remained silent on questions about its decision to demote and transfer but not fire executives Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, and whether it would collect repayment of those relocation benefits.

Photo from disabledveterans.org

Photo from disabledveterans.org


On Sept. 28, 2015, the VA Inspector General’s office issued a report finding that Rubens and Graves had “inappropriately used their positions of authority for personal and financial benefit” by arranging the transfer of subordinates whose jobs they wanted and then volunteering to fill the vacancies.
When asked about the determination by the Office of General Counsel and whether criminal charges would be referred against Rubens and Graves, the Office of Inspector General said, “We do not have information that is responsive to your questions,” and deferred questions of possible prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Neither that office nor the Department of Justice immediately responded to a query on the issue.
“This move is an insult to veterans and taxpayers, who are left footing the bill,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.

Curtis Kalin, spokesman for the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste, said the VA’s systemic problems “not only hurt taxpayers, but cost some veterans their lives.”

Read the all pathetic details here.

See also:

DCG

Please follow and like us:
0
 

Navy vet’s death blamed on contaminated VA medical scopes

Wonder if anyone at this VA facility received a bonus for their “talent“?
misadministration
The following will come as no surprise given the scandals accumulated by the VA under the Obama administration. See examples of the mishandling of our veterans’ health care here, here, here and here.
The mistreatment of our veterans is also occurring in Seattle. In early October I reported on how dozens of West Coast military veterans incorrectly received letters indicating they’d lose unemployment benefits after an overworked Department of Veterans Affairs office in Seattle lost track of records the veterans had submitted.
In May of this year, the Seattle VA hospital stranded a veteran outside the emergency room. Donald Siefken drove up to the Seattle VA with a broken foot and all he asked for was a little help getting inside. Instead, a hospital employee who answered Siefken’s cellphone call told him to call 911 himself, then hung up on him, Siefken said.

Chief Petty Officer William Piersawl/Photo Courtesy Samantha Armenta

Chief Petty Officer William Piersawl/Photo Courtesy Samantha Armenta


Now comes news of how the VA Puget Sound Health Care System may have contributed to the death of veteran William Piersawl. This may have been attributed to the a deadly infection he obtained with ties to dirty medical scopes and to scope-washing machines ordered recalled last week by U.S. regulators because of increased risk to patients.
That’s according to an amended lawsuit awaiting approval Monday in U.S. District Court in Western Washington, which raises new questions about ongoing problems with so-called “superbug” outbreaks in Seattle and across the nation.
William Piersawl, 60, was a 25-year Navy veteran and died in February 2013 of Gram-negative pneumonia, an infection resistant to most available antibiotics. Secondary causes included sepsis and lung cancer, his death certificate showed. His widow, Carolyn Piersawl filed a complaint earlier this year claiming that the VA Puget Sound Health Care System contributed to his death by failing to properly sterilize bronchoscopes, medical devices used to examine the lungs.
During his treatment from 2009 to 2012, Piersawl received at least two exams with bronchoscopes that had not been disinfected according to manufacturers’ instructions, leaving them “dirty after supposed sterilization,” potentially contaminated with bacteria that could have led to the infection that caused his death, according to the complaint. His widow said, “He didn’t deserve this”. The couple were married for 34 years and have three children and two grandchildren.
There was a whistleblower at the Puget Sound VA who reported on the filthy procedures being practiced at the VA facility. Barbara Deymonaz, 63, a registered nurse who worked as a nurse educator in the sterile processing unit at the Puget Sound VA from 2012 to 2013, said she complained multiple times to federal officials about lapses in procedure that put patients at risk. “Every rock you turned over, it was just a mess,” she said.
Of course, VA officials have denied all allegations in the Piersawl lawsuit. VA spokesman Ndidi Mojay said the agency cannot comment on pending litigation. A 2013 investigation by the VA Office of the Inspector General didn’t find any problems that left instruments unsterile or placed patients at risk.
But Piersawl’s case underscores concerns about deadly infections potentially transmitted by improperly cleaned medical scopes. Last year, an outbreak of multidrug-resistant infections tied to contaminated duodenoscopes — devices used to examine the gut — was linked to 39 patients at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center. Eighteen patients affected by the outbreak died, although the role the infections played isn’t clear. The outbreak prompted the hospital to overhaul the way it cleans and tests the devices, resulting in no further infections, a hospital spokesman said.
In August, VA officials released results of an investigation that found that superbug infections may have occurred at VA sites across the nation, although the risk was very low. The analysis of 40,000 patient records concluded “any transmission appears highly unlikely.” But problems with duodenoscopes at hospitals across the nation prompted the FDA to issue new guidelines for cleaning the devices — and new warnings about potential problems with other types of scopes as well.
Between January 2010 and June 2015, the agency received 109 reports concerning infections or device contamination related to the bronchoscopes. No deaths were reported. The agency emphasized that proper “reprocessing” or cleaning of such devices is crucial.
It’s not clear what specific bacteria caused Piersawl’s Gram-negative pneumonia, which was listed as his primary cause of death. No culture results were reported in his records and the scopes used to treat him weren’t cultured, either. The lawsuit is set for trial next summer, said Jessica Holman Duthie, a Tacoma lawyer who filed the complaint.
Read the whole story at the Seattle Times here.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
0