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VA hospitals in Kentucky may be subject to fatal errors

Hospital negligence has been blamed for three recent patient deaths at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. These deaths are a part of a series of deaths at VA facilities that may have been preventable.

On Oct. 23, the VA released the results of an internal investigation that revealed three patient deaths in 2012 were caused by improper or inadequate care received in the emergency room at the Memphis VA Medical Center. One of those deaths was the result of a reaction to medication that the patient had a known allergy to. Another death resulted from the patient being unmonitored following the administration of anti-inflammatory, intravenous narcotics and tranquilizers to manage severe back pain. 45 minutes later, the patient was discovered to be unresponsive and not breathing. Following resuscitation, the patient passed away 13 days later, and the patient never came out of a coma. The third death was the result of the patient having to spend hours in the ER, where he received inadequate high blood pressure treatment.

During the years 2011 and 2012, reports show that five patients died after a total of 21 patients contracted Legionnaires' disease at the VA in Pittsburgh. During the same two years, the Atlanta VA had three deaths among mental health patients, including one suicide. In addition, the VA Medical Center Dallas and the Bill Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. had reports of complaints about improperly prescribed narcotics, patients jeopardized by radiologists, and suicide following a patient's improper discharge.

Medical negligence and errors can be devastating and individuals who have been affected by the actions of incompetent doctors, hospital errors and anesthesia mistakes that could cause death or permanent injury could benefit from the help of a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney may be able to help those victims pursue compensation.

Source: Army Times, "Report: 3 more VA patients die from negligence", Patricia Kime, October 25, 2013

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