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Negligence at VA hospital allegedly causes 4 deaths

Veterans who return to New Mexico from war are often in need of medical care. VA hospitals fill this need, giving millions of American veterans the care they deserve. Unfortunately, VA hospitals, like all hospitals, sometimes fail to establish procedures for all circumstances, which can lead to hospital negligence.

The recent deaths of four VA hospital patients were allegedly caused by poor medical care. The patients were reportedly left unattended for some time, and in at least two instances, the patients had the opportunity to commit suicide. A significant number of the VA hospital's patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can make them more likely to commit suicide, especially when left alone. Although several patients are reportedly satisfied with the care they receive at the VA hospital, since the deaths have come to light, hospital officials have promised to create procedures that address some of its problems, such as handling hospital visitors and drug tests.

The problems are apparently widespread. Other VA hospitals have been reported for the spread of hepatitis, unhygienic conditions, and general incompetence. Because VA hospitals across the country are supported by the federal government, at least one member of Congress is putting pressure on the hospitals to make reforms. Millions of veterans are treated at more than 150 VA hospitals across the country, and inadequate staffing may contribute to the hospital’s alleged problems. Because VA hospitals employ more than 300,000 people, it may be difficult to recruit and train qualified care providers.

It is unknown whether the families of any of the four patients have filed lawsuits against the VA hospital. Hopefully, the VA hospital will improve its patient care and continue to serve millions of U.S. veterans. People who are victims of hospital negligence may be entitled to compensation.

Source: Helena Independent Record, “Deaths at Atlanta VA hospital prompt scrutiny,” Christina Almeida Cassidy, May 25, 2013

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