VA hospital allegedly canceled surgeries over fly infestation, report claims

An investigation into a West Los Angeles veterans hospital is alleging that dozens of surgeries had to be postponed or canceled because of an insect infestation.

According to the report, the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center had more than 200 fly traps installed due to a years-long infestation.

The report stated the traps were located both outside and inside the operating rooms, in the hallways and above empty beds.

Dr. Christian Head, associate director and chief of staff for quality assurance at the facility, told CBS Los Angeles that he reported the fly issue to the VA. Head claims that another doctor who voiced concerns was suspended, and that he also has faced retaliation.

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“I believe there’s a culture in the Veterans Administration that punishes people who are willing to come forward,” Head, who is a head and neck surgeon at the hospital, told CBS Los Angeles.

The report claims that 83 surgeries were postponed from November 2016 through February 2018 because of the flies.

The VA told the news outlet that it found “zero evidence of patient harm,” and closed the operating rooms out of an abundance of caution.