VAMC Dayton

Posted: March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized
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The Dayton VA Medical Center is investigating more allegations of improper conduct by an employee, this time in its anesthesia unit. The allegations include an accusation that a doctor drew blood from patients under anesthesia without their knowledge or consent. “Dayton VA Medical Center is aware of the allegations made anonymously to the VA Office of Inspector General regarding the anesthesiologist,” the hospital said in a prepared statement. “As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on open OIG inquiries. Dayton VAMC takes these allegations seriously and is currently conducting a complete review.” According to the complaint, the doctor also kept in his office a supply of a controlled substance, propofol, that he obtained from other VA employees. That propofol was kept in an unauthorized location and was not monitored or managed through the pharmacy even while there was a nationwide shortage of the drug in 2009.
It wasn’t clear how many patients allegedly had blood drawn without their consent, or when the activity took place. If true the allegations raise serious ethical questions, said Richard Whitehouse, executive director of the State Medical Board of Ohio, which does not have jurisdiction over the Dayton VA since it’s a federal hospital. “It’s a question of conducting an unauthorized procedure without the patient’s (knowledge),” Whitehouse said. “It is by its very nature invasive.” The medical center’s director, Glenn Costie, sent an email to some staff members on 16 FEB about the allegations, which whistle-blowers had made to the VA’s Office of Inspector General through a hot line. The allegations pose fresh challenges for the Dayton VA as it tries to restore its image following a scandal over infection control issues in its dental clinic in 2010 and 2011. The Dayton Daily News reported last year that the federal hospital since 2006 has conducted more in-depth investigations of patient abuse and other employee misconduct than any other VA hospital in Ohio,
“I am glad these issues have come up as it will give us a chance to resolve concerns and improve the care we provide our veterans,” Costie wrote in the email to the newspaper’s staff. Costie this week said that the VA hot line had received two calls concerning alleged problems in the anesthesia unit and that the propofol allegation dated back to 2009. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, said in a prepared statement., “If true, these allegations are troubling to say the least. Since the dental scandal this past year, I have been concerned about the management and standards at the Dayton VA Medical Center. Our veterans deserve the safe and reliable health care they were promised when they entered military service. The new director, Glenn Costie, has indicated that he will take this matter seriously and provide a full accounting to our community.” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also expressed concern about the alleged misconduct. He has contacted the VA to express his concern and has requested that the VA complete a full, fair and prompt investigation on this matter. [Source: Dayton Daily News Ben Sutherly article 23 Feb 2012 ++]

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