Boston, Holt & Durham, PLLC

Veterans Affairs Hospital sued for wrongful death

The Veterans Affairs has come under fire lately for quality of care issues in VA hospitals. While improvements have been made, there are still serious issues concerning quality of care. One of these resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against a Tennessee VA hospital.

A young veteran died just nine months following an honorable discharge that came about because of a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. While in the VA Hospital in Nashville, the doctors prescribed a medication called azathioprine. It is a medication that can decrease white blood cell and platelet counts. The vet suffered from a pre-existing condition that suppressed his immune system, putting him at risk of harm from reduced white cell counts.

The doctors recommended frequent blood tests to monitor the white cell and platelet count. According to a doctor who reviewed the case, the recommended number of blood tests for the period of time the man was on the medication would have been 11, and he was only tested once. He had questioned his own treatment and reported symptoms to the VA that included fevers and mouth sores. When he called the hospital the staff reportedly told him not to worry about it, but he died a short time later. His parents brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital, and the claim was later settled for $2.5 million.

Veterans put their lives on the line for our country. They have a right to expect proficient health care in return. If someone believes a veteran in Tennessee may have received inadequate care through a VA hospital, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise the client as to what one's legal options may be, including the possibility of pursuing a wrongful death claim.

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