The wife of an Illinois man who bled to death after routine surgery at Downstate VA Hospital in southern Illinois recently began filing a lawsuit against the US Department of Veteran Affairs. A surgeon, who was barred from practicing in another state, was the doctor caring for that Illinois patient. The doctor had been accused of causing life-threatening complications and deaths by providing “grossly substandard care” and making repeated medical mistakes. Downstate VA Hospital in southern Illinois suspended inpatient surgeries shortly after the man bled to death in response to an increasing amount of post-surgical deaths. The hospital serves veterans in southern Illinois and other nearby areas in other states. The surgeon who spurred the chain of events had been linked to deaths all over the country. A surgical error caused a death after the doctor caused a blood infection and respiratory failure by allowing a stitch to dislodge in a man’s esophagus. On another occasion he mistakenly put stitches in a patient’s bladder during a hernia repair causing years of pain. He made misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and used improper surgical methods, all leading to unnecessary surgeries, pain, and hospitalizations. The list does not stop there. The State of Illinois continued his license after learning it was revoked in another state. It was not difficult to find his record status even if the state hadn’t been alerted. The Illinois VA hospital was responsible for a mortality rate over four times the normal amount. The barred surgeon was involved in all of them.
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