Veteran dies waiting for ambulance - at VA hospital

Tell me this isn't indicative of government run health care.

A veteran who collapsed at a VA hospital in Albuquerque, died waiting for an ambulance to take him to an emergency room at the facility that was just a couple of hundred yards away.


A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veterans Affairs hospital cafeteria, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.

Officials at the hospital said it took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown said Kirtland Air Force Medical Group personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

(Also on POLITICO: Reforming the VA one step at a time)

She says staff followed policy in calling 911 when the man collapsed on Monday. "Our policy is under expedited review," Brown said.

The man's name hasn't been released.

The death comes at the Department of Veterans Affairs remains under scrutiny for widespread reports of long delays for treatment and medical appointments and of veterans dying while on waiting lists.

I guess it never occurred to anyone on the hospital staff to simply lay the patient on a gurnee and wheel him to the emergency room themselves. This is what would pass for "thinking outside the box" and is not encouraged at VA hospitals.

I'm glad to see they are expediting a review of these policies, but what they really should be doing is training their personnel in allowing them to think on their feet so that they can deal with situations like this. When going by the book costs someone their life, something is wrong with the book - and the people who are following it.


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