At least 19 veterans have died because of delays in treatments and diagnosis at Veterans Administrations hospitals. Many of these deaths were preventable with simple screenings like colonoscopies or endoscopies. This is absolutely unacceptable that our nation’s veterans that have sacrificed so much get this sort of treatment from the VA.
CNN — U.S. veterans are dying because of delays in diagnosis and treatment at VA hospitals.
At least 19 veterans have died because of delays in simple medical screenings like colonoscopies or endoscopies, at various VA hospitals or clinics, CNN has learned.
That’s according to an internal document from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, obtained exclusively by CNN, that deals with patients diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011.
The veterans were part of 82 vets who have died or are dying or have suffered serious injuries as a result of delayed diagnosis or treatment for colonoscopies or endoscopies.
Coates is one of the veterans who has suffered from a delay in care. Coates was having excruciating pain and rectal bleeding in 2011. For a year the Army veteran went to several VA clinics and hospitals in South Carolina, trying to get help. But the VA’s diagnosis was hemorrhoids, and aside from simple pain medication he was told he might need a colonoscopy.
“The problem was getting worse and I was having more pain,” Coates said, talking about one specific VA doctor who he saw every few months. “She again examined me and gave me some prescriptions for other things as far as pain and stuff like that and I noticed again she made another comment — ‘may need colonoscopy.’
“I told her that something needed to be done,” said Coates. “But nothing was ever set up … a consult was never set up.”