By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Attorney
Hundreds of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have had their “surgical complexity” ratings changed in response to numerous medical errors and doctor mistakes. Five hospitals had their ratings downgraded, which basically means the types of surgeries allowed at those facilities will be reduced because the doctors simply can’t handle the procedures.
“What types of mistakes have taken place at these VA hospitals?” you might ask. Well, a cancer unit at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center mishandled close to 100 cases involving radiation treatment and it is alleged that staff members altered records to cover mistakes, according to aboutlawsuits.com. The VA is also dealing with colonoscopy problems at VA centers in Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), and Tennessee (TN) where contaminated equipment exposed thousands of veterans to hepatitis, HIV and other blood borne diseases.
Here’s another example of medical negligence at a VA Hospital:
It’s good to see VA officials taking action on this important safety issue, but more reforms need to be enacted. The doctors and surgeons at the five VA hospitals that received complexity downgrades should have their past performance records reviewed and potentially be required to go through a re-training course or some type of program on medical error prevention. Another common sense reform is requiring the use of “safe-surgery” checklists and even basic medical procedure checklists to help ensure all steps are taken and no blatant errors are made due to rushing through a procedure.
It is important we correct these errors. Why? Because every VA hospital should exemplify the highest standards of medical care. The brave men and women who serve in uniform, and their loved ones, deserve that kind of treatment.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.