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VA Inspector General: DC Hospital Putting Patients at 'Unnecessary Risk'

Image: VA Inspector General: DC Hospital Putting Patients at 'Unnecessary Risk'
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 04:49 PM

Conditions are reportedly so dangerous at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. — from dirty storage areas to missing equipment — that a watchdog warned in a scathing preliminary audit that patients were being put at "unnecessary risk."

The VA Office of Inspector General found that in recent weeks the operating room at the hospital ran out of vascular patches to seal blood vessels and ultrasound probes used to map blood flow, USA Today reported.

The medical center — which serves more than 98,000 vets in the nation's capital — also had to borrow bone material for knee replacement surgeries — and at one point, ran out of tubes needed for kidney dialysis, according to the newspaper.

Investigators also found that of 25 sterile storage areas inspected, 18 were dirty.

During the past three years, there've been 194 reports that patient safety has been compromised because of insufficient equipment, the OIG found. There were no findings of "adverse patient outcomes," the audit showed.

"Part of OIG's mission is to monitor the quality of patient care and outcomes for veteran patients who rely on VA for their health care," VA Inspector General Michael Missal said in a statement. "When we become aware of deficiencies at VA that place patients at unnecessary risk, we will act immediately and aggressively to address those deficiencies."

After getting an anonymous tip March 21, the OIG sent specialists to the hospital March 29 and 30, April 4, 5 and 6, and Wednesday, according to The Hill.

Hospital director Brian Hawkins was removed Wednesday and put on "administrative duty," both reports said.

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Conditions are reportedly so dangerous at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. - from dirty storage areas to missing equipment - that a watchdog warned in a scathing preliminary audit that patients were being put at "unnecessary risk."
veterans affairs, washington dc, inspector general, hospital
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2017-49-12
Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 04:49 PM
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