Sunday, August 26, 2012

Documents link deaths to improper VA staffing following deaths

Documents link deaths to improper VA staffing
Aug 25, 2012
Written by
Jerry Mitchell

Failure to have proper staffing of nurses allegedly led to two deaths at the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Jackson, according to investigative documents obtained by The Clarion-Ledger.

In December 2010, a patient suffered a diabetic coma in the intensive care unit and died.

On April 1, 2011, Johnnie W. Lee, a 55-year-old Army veteran who also worked at the Jackson VA, underwent routine skin graft surgery in the morning and was dead by afternoon.

According to a document obtained by the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel, which is examining these cases, both deaths "had proximate causes related to a lack of proper nursing staffing."

Bonnie Walker, a spokeswoman for the Jackson VA, said the two deaths have been reviewed internally as well as by external agencies and have been concluded. In investigating Lee's death, The Joint Commission, the federal agency that inspects and accredits all health care facilities, did not find the VA had been negligent.
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