After the country’s servicemen and women return home from armed conflict, they deserve to receive the best medical care possible. Many of New Mexico’s retired service members make use of the VA hospitals throughout the state. Sadly, hospital negligence is not limited to civilian hospitals, and even after making it home uninjured, soldiers can suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Two parents filed a lawsuit against a VA hospital after their son’s death in Oct. 2014. Their son served in Iraq as a mechanic and as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist in Afghanistan while in the United States Army for eight years. In Jan. 2014, he received a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease.
The condition can be debilitating, and life-threatening complications can arise. He also had another condition that suppressed his immune system, and when he moved to Tennessee, the VA hospital there put him on an anti-inflammatory medication that requires frequent monitoring because it lowers a patient’s platelet and blood cell counts. His parents say that their son’s blood counts were not properly monitored despite notations in his records that testing needed to be done more frequently.
This soldier was not the first to fall through the cracks. This type of hospital negligence happens more often than anyone here in New Mexico or elsewhere would ever want to admit. Filing wrongful death claims could help families deal with the financial burdens of losing a loved one, provide them with a sense of justice and maybe even keep someone else from dying needlessly.
Source: tennessean.com, “Negligence at Nashville VA hospital led to death of 26-year-old, according to lawsuit“, Stacey Barchenger, Dec. 16, 2016