Veterans Affairs

Military Veterans
3:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

'Lack Of Accountability:' An Investigation Into Wrongful Deaths At VA Hospitals

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Ross Reynolds talks with journalist Aaron Glantz about preventable deaths at Veterans Affairs hospitals. Glantz covers veterans and military issues for the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Investigations
3:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

How A Recalled Medical Device Killed A Vet At Seattle's VA Hospital

A screenshot from an Infusomat training video warns of the danger of a "free flow" of drugs pouring from the machine if loaded improperly.
Credit B. Braun training video on YouTube.com

Editor’s note 2/7/2014: This story has been edited to remove references to VA officials’ incorrect claim that a Seattle VA nurse saw the Infusomat recall at the FDA website in March 2012. While manufacturer B. Braun sent the VA and other customers its recall notice in March, FDA did not post information about the manufacturer’s March 23, 2012, recall letter until August 1. The story has also been edited to attribute to medical records the statement that, the night Eddie Creed died, a doctor asked his sister if she wanted an autopsy to be done. Creed's sister claims the VA never asked her about an autopsy. The content in the edited story differs from the audio in the original broadcast.

When Eddie Creed, a Seattle jazz musician, died at the Veterans Affairs hospital on Beacon Hill last year, his death certificate said throat cancer had killed him.

But a KUOW investigation reveals what his doctors knew: A medical device called an Infusomat, which had been recalled the month before, ended his life. Still, nobody knows why.

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Searching For Answers
8:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Veterans Affairs Makes Getting Information Even Harder

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

After Army veteran Eddie Creed died at the Seattle VA hospital in April 2012, his loved ones awaited official word: Why had he received a lethal overdose of morphine in his sleep there? The VA still hasn't released the independent investigation it commissioned concerning his accidental overdose.

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Military
9:35 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Student Vets Worry About Tuition Payments Amid Shutdown

University of Washington ROTC's Veterans Day 2012 ceremony.
Courtesy of HUMV/Sarah Koopai

For Tom Jenkins, a senior at the University of Washington and a veteran of the Air Force, the partial government shutdown has caused double stress: He has been furloughed from his part-time job as a reservist, and he may not receive veteran’s benefits.

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Veteran Drug Concerns
4:09 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

VA’s Opiate Overload Feeds Veterans’ Addictions, Overdose Deaths

Credit Courtesy of Center of Investigative Reporting

Before dawn, a government van picked up paratrooper Jeffrey Waggoner for the five-hour drive to a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in southern Oregon. His orders: detox from a brutal addiction to painkillers.

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Injured Troops
9:07 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Military Disability System Making Progress, Still Falling Short Of Goals

Sgt. Jake Koetje while on deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.
Credit Courtesy Sgt. Koetje

For soldiers who are injured or wounded, the process for determining whether they’re eligible for medical retirement is long.

Many, including the Government Accountability Office, say too long.

In a 2012 report to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, the GAO found that soldiers at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other military installations were waiting nearly 400 days to get through the system.

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