Veteranclaims’s Blog

February 11, 2010

Rep. Sestak calls Inspection Report of Pittsburgh VA-Medical Center “Completely Intolerable”

Full Article at: Report: VA center in Philadelphia had widespread problems

By Walter F. Roche Jr.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

“The staff in a surgical unit at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia was so inattentive that a patient who died in a toilet was not even discovered until his body had turned cold, according to an inspection report obtained by the Tribune-Review.

The report from the VA’s Medical Inspector, obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act, recounts the complaints from a surgical resident who told inspectors of the dead patient and another case in which a patient at the facility was allowed to sit in a bed of urine.

The report, dated Dec. 12, 2007, cites the poor care on the thoracic surgery unit as the reason that doctors routinely shifted major chest surgery cases to the nearby University of Pennsylvania/Presbyterian Medical Center.

“The general surgery resident physician voiced ‘no confidence’ in the care provided on the ward and went so far as to say that the surgical ward was ‘not a nursing unit,’ care was non-existent,” the 10-page report states.

Dale Warman, spokesman for the Philadelphia center, said the problems cited in the report have been corrected.

“Many improvements have been made over the past three years for the well-being of our veterans, and this situation does not at all reflect the current state of patient care,” he said in an e-mail.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-Delaware County, said some of the findings in the report were “completely intolerable and reflects a gross lack of accountability at many levels.”

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