A recent investigation by CBS News 11 showed that some of the patients at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Dallas were victims of neglect, malpractice, and incompetence. The report says that veterans endure a long wait just to get into the hospital initially and are then subjected to "an uncaring and unresponsive staff unwilling to provide even the most basic care."
According the article, a Vietnam veteran waited eight years to get his VA card just to get in the hospital. He went to the hospital with back pain but was sent home and given morphine patches and Hydrocodone. The veteran was admitted to hospital after pain moved down to his hip and leg, but it still took a month to receive an x-ray, despite a myeloma survey that showed "aggressive bone deterioration" in his leg. The veteran's leg broke when he sat on a shower chair.
The article also shares the story of another Vietnam veteran who went to the Dallas VA hospital because of throat pain. Despite having doctors tell him they do not know what was wrong a student doctor told the veteran that he has terminal cancer. The veteran says that doctors knew that he had cancer that had spread for two and a half weeks before they told him. He also reports a staff that does not properly care for their patients; his sister has had to bathe him and change his linens.
Yet another veteran reported having to wait seven hours for pain medication and having the dressing on his wound changed only twice in eight days after his surgery. He says he complained about a swollen leg and being unable to move it, but the leg was not treated until later, after an examination showed that he had a blood clot.
The hospital chief of staff says that the hospital has undergone a 100 percent change in leadership that has improved things lately. However, based on the complaints of the veterans, there are still more changes needed.
Meanwhile, in the wake of reports of dreadful conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center, the VA has ordered its 1,400 hospitals and clinics to give a report outlining the quality of their facilities. The order was given last month and gave facilities only a couple of weeks to respond.
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The treatment that many veterans are subjected to, including malpractice, misdiagnoses, squalid hospital conditions, and apathetic hospital staff is unconscionable. If you or a family member has been a victim of malpractice at a Veterans Affairs medical center, contact a lawyer to discuss your options.