After a veteran died in Bay Pines VA Healthcare System , a hospital located in Tampa, Florida, his body was left nine hours unattended in a shower instead of following procedures to take the body immediately to the morgue.
An internal investigation determined that staff at the hospital violated procedures to provide the adequate investigation to determine the cause of death.
Leaving a body unattended for such a long period of time increases the possibility for the body to decompose rapidly, said the investigative report.
After the veteran had been in the care of the hospice for some time he passed away this past February.
According to the hospitals spokesman, the administration feels that what took place in the veterans case is inacceptable but have made changes to assure this sort of incident never occurres again.
“We feel that we have taken strong, appropriate and expeditious steps to strengthen and improve our existing systems and processes within the unit,” said spokesman Jason Dangle.
“It is our expectation that each veteran is transported to their final resting place in the timely….manner. America’s heroes deserve nothing less,” states Dangle.
Investigative report reveals that a request for a “transporter” was made shortly after the veteran had died so that his body be taken to the morgue.
Once the transporter was contacted he then informed staff to follow protocol and contact the dispatcher, but staff never did get ahold of the dispatcher, and so the veterans body remain at the hospital for nine hours unattended.
Reports also shows that employees “demonstrated a lack of concern, attention and respect” in how they handle the veterans body.
Investigation also revealed that employees did not look at a 24-hour nursing report which would have told them if the death had been conveyed according to hospital policy.