Report: Cochran VA Medical Center Death Caused By Nurse

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – A death a year and a half ago at the troubled Cochran VA Medical Center is the focus of a scathing new report from the veteran’s administration.

It was December 2010 when the patient died. The report says it happened because a hospital nurse just wasn’t paying attention.

The patient was a 58-year-old vet who came to Cochran for a kidney dialysis treatment. Sometime during the 5 hour dialysis, the man passed out.

The nurse, who was supposed to be monitoring him, just didn’t notice. The man died the next day because of bleeding around the heart, which sometimes happens to a tiny fraction of dialysis patients.

The report calls it a personnel issue, meaning it was the nurse at fault. But it also raises more questions about the system at Cochran itself, where vets were exposed to HIV and hepatitis in the dental lab in 2010 and where surgeries were stopped briefly in 2011 because of concerns about operating room sterilization.

Management at the Cochran VA Medical Center signed off on the report saying they agree with its conclusions.

Read more: Trouble Cochran VA Medical Center Makes Improvements