Bedford VA Medical Center under investigation after patient died while nurse aid played video games

Federal officials are investigating care lapses at Bedford (Mass.) VA Medical Center that may have contributed to the 2016 death of a patient, reports The Boston Globe.

Here are seven things to know.

1. Hospital staff found 68-year-old Bill Nutter, a Vietnam veteran and retired police detective, dead in his bed at Bedford VA Medical Center last year. Mr. Nutter lost both his legs from diabetes and suffered from a heart condition that threatened to spontaneously send him into cardiac arrest.

2. Staff members initially told Mr. Nutter's wife, Carol, his heart stopped in his sleep, and there was nothing they could have done to save him.

3. However, a nurse's aid on duty the night of Mr. Shutter's death later admitted to playing video games on her computer instead of regularly checking on Mr. Nutter during her shift.

4. Internal hospital records indicate the nurse who found Mr. Nutter the next morning told her boss about the death by making "a crude gesture signifying a slit throat," according to The Boston Globe.

5. Bedford VA Medical Center immediately reassigned the aide to a cafeteria position and terminated the nurse who made the gesture.

6. The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General is conducting a criminal investigation with the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI to identify potential care lapses that may have contributed to Mr. Nutter's death.

7. Maureen Heard, a spokeswoman for Bedford VA Medical Center, declined The Boston Globe's request for comment.

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