The Department of Veteran Affairs is facing a lawsuit claiming that a delay in surgical treatment contributed to the death of George Walker, a 75-year-old diagnosed with aortic stenosis.
Walker was treated within the VA Puget Health Care System. After a few days of treatment and tests, he received his diagnosis on June 24 and was told his necessary surgical procedure was set for July 5. Walker died at home four days before his scheduled surgery date.
Although a recent study spearheaded by the American Legion determined wait times within the VA healthcare system are comparable to — and sometimes better — than those in the private sector, Walker’s widow is convinced he would have been wheeled into an OR within a day of diagnosis if he were being treated elsewhere.
“While VA does not typically comment on pending litigation, VA Puget Sound’s wait times at both our Seattle and Tacoma locations are better, on average, than local non-VA hospitals as we are continually striving to improve our service and efficiency,” the healthcare facility noted in a statement.
The attorney for Walker’s family sees the matter differently.
“They absolutely shouldn’t have sent him home,” attorney Jessica Holman Duthie insists, according to The News Tribune.
“They never told us how serious it was,” Peggy Walker, the patient’s widow, tells the Star Tribune. “If we didn’t think we were going to get the right care there, we would have gone somewhere else.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Filed Under: Industry regulations