Local V-A Hospital Probed Following Patient Deaths

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 21, 2011 Updated Jun 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A Fort Wayne medical provider is scolded about its patient care.

The V-A Medical Center on Lake Avenue is taken to task in a national report, following a probe into two deaths.

Our partner in news, the Journal-Gazette, reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs has made recommendations to the local V-A on how care should improve at the facility.

The hospital got bad marks for providing inadequate management, documentation and review of a patient's cardiopulmonary arrest, prior to that patient's death.

Staff was also critiqued for not properly monitoring another patient in an intensive care unit.

3rd district Congressman Marlin Stutzman says on May 19, 2010, an anonymous complaint prompted an investigation.

On July 26-28 and September 20-23 of 2010, the VA Office of Inspector General conducted onsite inspections.

Policies, committee minutes and documentation were also reviewed, Stutzman says, leading to five corrective recommendations.

The local V-A responded with target completion dates to meet the recommendations, according to Stutzman, though no one from the V-A returned calls placed by Indiana’s NewsCenter seeking comment.

Stutzman concedes the report is troubling, but that a new V-A annex should address some concerns.

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman/(R) 3rd District: " We actually just passed the appropriations bill that will expand the services at the VA by 27,000 square feet, and also provide mental services as well as a variety of others, so, that is one of our number one priorities."

Former Congressman Mark Souder crusaded for an improved V-A center while he was in office.

He sent out a statement, saying the concerns identified in the Department of Veterans Affairs report underscore the need to build a bigger health care center in Fort Wayne.

He says the current facility isn't cutting it, and that if the new center isn't built, it cripples the ability to recruit and retain top medical staff, and tragic medical errors will continue to happen.

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