When the VA hospital in Marion, Illinois reported a spike in post-surgical deaths that was four times greater than the expected rate, an investigation revealed that these deaths were the result of substandard care and medical malpractice. That investigation revealed that, in the last two years, there were at least 34 patients who had been injured due to substandard care. Of these 34 patients, 19 are now dead. Nine died directly from the substandard care they received. These deaths occurred at the same hospital that was cited earlier for hiring a surgeon who had surrendered his medical license in another state during a disciplinary proceeding. The medical inspector from the Veterans Health Administration described the Marion, Illinois VA hospital as having a surgical program “in disarray” and a “fragmented and inconsistent” administration. Physician’s credentials weren’t always verified before they were granted privileges, surgeons were allowed to perform surgeries that they were not trained for, and the hospital failed to protect patients from harm. The Veterans Health Administration has vowed to hold those who were responsible accountable for their medical malpractice.
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