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Report shows veterans faced misdiagnosis and delayed treatment


Delayed treatment and a failure to diagnose patients who might be suffering from an illness or condition is a significant problem for anyone in Newton who is subjected to this kind of mistake. If that person was a member of the military and faces the aftermath of a missed diagnosis, it is an even more egregious misstep due to the sacrifices the person and the person's family willingly signed up for. Unfortunately, these errors are happening all too frequently.

Investigations undertaken by the Inspector General of the Veterans Affairs Department uncovered numerous problems with medical care provided by the military dating back to 2006. This has occurred at VA medical facilities across the country. The investigation's results were posted online in April 2015.

Some patients were prescribed what was described as a "dangerous" level of painkillers leading to at least one fatality. This particular error was one that occurred in several locations. Another alleged incident involved a patient who was in the emergency room, was given an antacid for his complaints, and died of a heart attack the following day at a different hospital. Two patients, being operated on for skin cancer, were set on fire. Cancers went undiagnosed, broken bones were missed completely and patients had their records researched without their approval. These are just some of the mistakes that were made at VA medical facilities leading to injury, delayed treatment, worsened condition and death.

When a person goes to the doctor for care, the last thing they are expecting is to face negligence, be given the wrong medication or have their complaints misdiagnosed. With cancers and other diseases, the key is often catching it early to avoid the spread of disease and making certain the appropriate treatment is given. That, however, isn't always guaranteed. There are numerous reasons why a failure to diagnose can happen and it's imperative to conduct an investigation to determine what happened and why.

In the case of the VA facilities, there are numerous documented and alleged mistakes that were made and revealed in the investigation. Some people died and others were confronted with a worsened condition as a result of these incidents. This appears to be a prevalent problem. Anyone who has experienced similar situations should know they may have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: Military Times.com, "VA mismanagement, malpractice detailed in reports," Patricia Kime, May 17, 2015

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