Over 500 veteran deaths from medical negligence reported


After serving in the military to keep the United States safe, veterans are given particular benefits for their sacrifices. One benefit is the medical service provided by Veterans Affairs hospitals all over the country, including Pennsylvania. However, the medical services of these hospitals are currently under fire after the Veterans Health Administration disclosed that more than 500 veterans died in these hospitals during the last four years due to what can be described as medical negligence.

Based on records, medical errors amounted to nearly 1,500 cases, with more than one-third resulting in death. These errors were described as "adverse events," which refers to therapeutic or diagnostic mistakes, injuries and other potentially harmful occurrences directly related to medical service or care. Examples of such costly errors include veterans who had undiagnosed bone fractures of the torso, feeding tubes inserted in their lungs instead of stomachs and delayed cancer diagnoses. In 2012, 12 of 74 veteran patients died because their cancer treatment was delayed. Concern was also expressed about patients who were considered as high risk for suicide but did not get proper medical attention.

Some people may argue that 1,500 cases is a relatively small number in terms of the thousands of successful medical services provided and that some errors, like falls, were not exactly the fault of medical staff. However, the fact that such errors did and are still occurring and endangering the lives of veterans is a major cause for concern.

Regardless of where medical mistakes were committed, victims, including veterans, have the option to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit to hold the negligent party liable. Beyond the need to seek justice, these adverse effects often result in the worsened condition of patients which is often expensive to correct. Expenses can also pile up if a veteran dies. A lawsuit can seek compensation to address these medical injustices and provide support for victims and their families.

Source: Freebeacon.com "More Than 500 Vets Died at VA Hospitals Due to Mistakes Since 2010," C.J. Ciaramella and Ellison Barber, Dec. 23, 2014

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