2 VA staff members fired after veteran's body left in shower for 9+ hours

Two Bay Pines (Fla.) VA Healthcare System staff members were fired for their role in leaving a veteran's body in a shower for more than nine hours in February, hospital officials told the Tampa Bay Times

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Times reported the findings of a 24-page investigative report produced by the hospital in April. The newspaper obtained a heavily redacted copy under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

According to the report, which was based on interviews with 30 witnesses, hospice staff asked a patient transporter to move the patient's body to the morgue. The transporter asked hospice staff to follow protocol and contact hospital dispatch, which never happened. This meant no one came for the patient's body and it was instead moved to a hallway and later a shower room, where it was left unattended.

The report also revealed staff falsely documented the incident and misrepresented why it happened.

Although Bay Pines initially did not disclose what disciplinary actions had been taken as a result of the internal investigation, the hospital provided more details this week.

Bay Pines spokesman Jason Dangel told the Tampa Bay Times all staff involved in the incident were removed from patient care. Following the internal investigation, two staff members were fired and others were suspended or received warnings for their involvement, he said.

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