IT IS A VERY LONG STORY, but briefly my partner of 37 years went to the VA for cancer treatment. His doctors were very good, and he survived a difficult surgery. In the post op course, his doctor went to China and he was left in the care of residents and ICU nurses. No one bothered to check for bowel sounds and he was given food and medications by mouth.As an RN, I stated that he had no bowel sounds and I WAS CONCERNED about his status--I was ridiculed and his course of care continued as well as his expanding girth. I was super concerned and stated that I wanted a doctor to evaluate him--an on call doctor reluctantly ordered a nasogastric tube inserted after an xray revealed the ileus (blockage) that I KNEW WAS there from his expanded abdomen. The ICU nurse tried to put down the NG tube but she didn't know what she was doing, and she was causing a great deal of pain to David as she was trying to screw the tube into his nose--totally inapproriately. I said, let me do it and she willingly handed the tube to me. I positioned David correctly and the tube went in without any problem, but several liters of black fluid shot out and I called a code for fear of aspiration. David survived the code, but a scan revealed that his bowel was necrotic and surgery had to be performed within 24 hours if he were to survive. This would be his second major surgery within the week and was totally unnecessary if the nurses and residents would have paid attention to him. The head nurse then would not allow me to remain with David even though other spouses were allowed to remain with their partners. David ended up with an ileostomy--it was so high up in his GI tract that his body was unable to absorb the nutrients and potassium and other elements necessary to live--his life was like living in an ICU and he needed 24 hour care and attention--he died as a result of the ileostomy which was due to the negligence of the nursing staff. He suffered severe post traumatic stress also as a result of the care in the VA--this is all documented. Also, the nurses continued to chart on his missing lung as if it were still there and functioning. They also charted that his bowel sounds were present prior to the episode, which was impossible. Every attempt was made to cover up the affair. He was denied his disability created and caused by the VA and he died without receiving it. I quit being a nurse because of the inadequate and harmful care he received and the cover up of it. I am more than willing to elaborate or produce any copies of records or his charts. It is interesting that staff from other VAs flock to the SFVA due to its higher salaries for their last 3 years to enhance their retirement--so there was no incentive or loyalty to the SFVA or nursing--they are just doing their time......I will be glad to elaborate on anything stated here with documentation.
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