VA hospital left deceased veteran in shower room for 9 hours, report finds
An internal report blames staffers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida for leaving the body of a deceased veteran to decompose in a shower for nine hours and then trying to cover it up.
The 24-page report concluded that hospice staffers at the Bay Pines VA hospital failed to provide appropriate post-mortem care to the veteran’s body, Fox 13 Tampa reports.
The report found hospice staff put the veteran’s body in a hallway and left it there for an unspecified time, the station reported. Staff then put the veteran’s body in the shower room and did not “check on the status of the decedent…for over nine hours.”
The report also found that a staff member then “falsely documented” the incident, Fox 13 reported.
The investigative report said that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.
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"The report details a total failure on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and an urgent need for greater accountability," Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., told the station. "Unsurprisingly, not a single VA employee has been fired following this incident, despite a clear lack of concern and respect for the veteran. The men and women who sacrificed on behalf of our nation deserve better."
The unnamed veteran died in February after spending time in hospice care.
The hospital's Administrative Investigation Board ordered retraining for staff.
Hospital spokesman Jason Dangel told the Tampa Bay Times hospital officials view what happened as unacceptable.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.