(Memphis) The Memphis V.A. Medical Center Chief of Staff, Christopher Marino, went before cameras Thursday to respond to mistakes in the emergency department that killed three veterans.
“We take these issues very seriously and we have acted to address them directly contributing to the deaths,” said Marino.
A health care inspection last May showed patients who came in for back pain, neck pain and high blood pressure were given drugs they were allergic to, put on oxygen and left unmonitored.
A nurse also failed to follow-up with doctors on a high blood pressure patient.
The three patients died.
The V.A. says it now uses a tracker system that gives regular updates to staff about any problems.
Patients on cardiac monitors are now regularly observed by staff and a nurse educator has been assigned to the emergency department.
“We continue to work in good faith to further improve the quality of care in our emergency department,” said Marino.
Despite the serious issues, the V.A.’s Chief of staff walked away when we tried to ask about the report.
He refused to take any questions about the deaths at his facility and another report News Channel 3 uncovered showing V.A. Center Directors were getting bonuses in the millions at the same time their facilities were making deadly mistakes.
Rene Carter is a veteran and says she worked as a V.A. nurse. She blames an overloaded system for the medical mistakes.
“The system becomes so saturated and overwhelmed, not that we don’t have responsibilities as caregivers to check everything, but they have to go back and do some check marks,” said Carter.
It’s important so those who served their country are given the care they deserve.
The Memphis V.A. also says the physician involved in the care of two of the patients who died no longer works at the center.