Dayton VA officials admit to not disclosing patient's MRSA infection

The Dayton (Ohio) Veterans Affairs Medical Center responded to a patient's claim that he lost his leg to amputation after VA hospital officials failed to notify him of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, according to WHIO.

Several weeks after the patient, Kenneth Collier, underwent a small foot procedure at the VA facility, Mr. Collier said a Kettering (Ohio) Medical Center physician was the first to tell him his leg had been infected with MRSA. 

Mr. Collier's medical records from the VA indicated one of the facility's physicians initially noted a MRSA infection in April 2016. Mr. Collier had to have his leg amputated weeks later. 

"[The Kettering Medical Center physician] told me and my sons, 'You don't understand. We're not going to be able to fight this infection as long as he keeps his leg,'" said Mr. Collier's wife, Margie Collier. 

The medical record showed a positive foot culture on April 4, 2016, and advised staff to take precautions to prevent infection transmission. Dayton VA officials confirmed the document's authenticity, according to WHIO.

Mr. Collier's family received a letter from the Dayton VA in June 2017 that acknowledged the hospital was aware of the infection and failed to tell the family. In the letter, the hospital's chief of staff apologized to Mr. Collier's family.

The Collier family said they were shocked to learn the VA was aware of the infection but never disclosed it to them. The family filed a federal tort claim, which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denied last month. 

"While it is true that Mrs. Collier was unaware of the MRSA culture results, Mr. Collier's doctors were aware of the MRSA culture results and treated him appropriately as confirmed by the investigation, which prompted the tort claim," Raymond Hoy, Dayton VA public affairs specialist, said in an emailed statement to WHIO May 1. "We remain committed to providing comprehensive care to Mr. Collier and look forward to continuing to provide him the care that he needs." 

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