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Veteran dies in VA hospital waiting for ambulance to take him 500 yards to ER

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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — A veteran died at a Veterans Affairs Hospital after waiting 30 minutes at the facility for an ambulance to take him 500 yards to the emergency room. Now the hospital is reviewing its policy.

VA officials told KOAT the patient collapsed in the cafeteria on Monday and needed to be taken around the building to the ER.

Witnesses said he looked like he was having a heart attack, so cafeteria staff followed procedure and called 9-1-1. VA policy states that if any medical emergency happens outside the main hospital staff should call 9-1-1.

The Alburquerque Fire Department told KOAT that an ambulance dispatched a crew to the hospital at 12:30 p.m. Paramedics loaded the veteran and drove him across the complex to another building.

By the time he got to the ER, he died.

KOAT asked VA officials why the man was not wheeled over to the ER on a gurney and a hospital spokesperson said only, “We are currently reviewing our policy on it.”

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  • Aaron G

    We should not be surprised at such inefficiency from a government agency, but we SHOULD be outraged that this kind of stupidity and careless behavior is rampant in the VA – and the exact same care standards have been foisted upon the rest of us via the (un)affordable (lack of) care act.

  • The World is Ending

    This is probably the case in most hospitals (it is real life not TV where the cafeteria is full of doctors that magically haver everything they need and come running to help) It all has to do with liability, in most cases the EMS responders are better equipped to stabelise for transport to the ER, and even if the doctors would have tried to help and the person were to die anyway, some one would convince the family that the doctors messed up and they should sue. But why did the ambulance take solong to get there, maybe they were responding to a stubbed toe or providing taxi service to someone with a non emergency scheduled procedure (yes they do provide this type of transport) (you can hate me now and tell me how uncaring I am)

  • Dave

    With the current VA problems, you would think that someone would get a wheelchair or something to get this person to the ER, But "No", hey another great idea, call a doctor. This is what happens when everyone is Law suite happy, and the fact that the courts let it happen. I an a Veteran and this kind of non-action is totally uncalled for, for any hospital.

  • Sheryl Lord

    did no one in an entire hospital cafeteria know how to do CPR while they were waiting for a ambulance in siesta-land? call 9-1-1 is the policy.fine.no plan B? call a DR? run him over there ,yourself? CPR?of COURSE,how stupid of me,a civilian…it’s GOVERNMENT run.there is no logic or common sense applicable here.just bureaucratic BS.God forbid we should use the BRAINS God gave us.