published Thursday, October 24th, 2013

3 patient deaths probed at Memphis VA hospital

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Veterans Health Administration says inspectors have investigated the deaths of three patients who died in the emergency department at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

The administration said Wednesday that one patient was administered a medication, in spite of a documented drug allergy, and had a fatal reaction. Another patient was found unresponsive after receiving multiple sedating medications.

A third patient had critically high blood pressure that was not aggressively monitored and experienced bleeding in the brain.

The investigation showed that the facility had completed protected peer reviews of the care for all three patients. But the report also recommends that the hospital strengthen root cause action plans, improve monitoring of emergency department patients and complete competency assessments for emergency department nursing staff.

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