VA hospital staff left veteran’s body in shower nine hours, tried to hide mistakes

VA hospital staff left veteran’s body in shower nine hours, tried to hide mistakes
Credit: Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com

Staff members at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System left the body of a veteran in a shower room for more than nine hours then tried to cover up the mistake, a hospital investigation shows.

A report of the investigation’s findings provides no information about the veteran, who died in February at the hospice unit of the Bay Pines center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd.

Some hospice staff violated hospital and Veterans Affairs policies by “failing to provide appropriate post-mortem care,” including proper transportation of a body to the morgue, according to the report by the hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board.

Bay Pines ordered retraining and a change in procedures as a result of the incident, and “appropriate personnel action was taken,” said hospital spokesman Jason Dangel.

“We view this finding as unacceptable,” Dangel said.

He declined to elaborate on whether workers were fired or disciplined, citing employee confidentiality rules.

Leaving the body unattended for so long subjected it to an “increased risk of decomposition,” according to the hospital report.

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