Faulty equipment, improper transport vehicles, causing injuries to VA Nursing Home Patients

by Terry Richards

LOS ANGELES, CA – Eyewitness Veteran Patients at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center reported to this Columnist that just within the last 30-days or so, due to old and broken locks which hold Gurneys in place, and the lack of Bariatric Gurneys and Ambulances or other similar Vehicles for the Transport of Patients 450-900 pounds while these Patients are traveling to and from the Nursing Home to medical appointments at the Main Hospital and other Buildings on the Campus,  that one Veteran Nursing Home Patient injured his foot when a Gurney got loose on the Gurney Bus while the Bus was traveling.

Eyewitness Veteran Patients also reported that a Patient fell out of his Wheelchair while disembarking from the Gurney Bus when the ramp broke due to his heavy weight estimated at over 450 pounds and that the VA Police were summoned to the scene where they determined that the Patient had to be hoisted back into his Wheelchair and called for the equipment to accomplish this task. It is unknown at this time if this Veteran Patient was injured in any way or if he is a Nursing Home Patient or Outpatient.

A  retired Transportation Expert with over 30-years of experience in the business and who is also an Outpatient at this VA Facility and has knowledge of these kinds of complaints from Veteran-Patients riding the Gurney Bus told this Columnist that the VA should be using “Bariatric Ambulances” not Gurney Buses to Transport Patient over 450 pounds. He also stated that the Gurney Buses being used by the VA are not the kind of buses that need to be used for the safe and comfortable Transport of Nursing Home Patients.

Moreover, in addition to doing the medically and morally right thing, and treating Veteran-Patients with dignity, respect, kindness, and comfort, since the average pay-out for a Federal Tort Claim for VA Malpractice is $200,000, it is economically wise for the VA to invest in “Bariatric Ambulances” to Transport Patients over 450 pounds and to update the equipment on the Gurney Buses or replace the Gurney Buses with new or used Buses that are meant to Transport Nursing Home Patients in comfort and safety.

Anyone other Witnesses or the Patients themselves who would like to come forward about these incidents should email this Columnist at vnsla@yahoo.com

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