Veterans affairs hospitals are essential for maintaining the health and well being of America’s men and women in uniform. For many years now, high officials within the VA bureaucracy have come under fire for mismanaging patients, as well as a host of other alleged wrongdoings. However, news stories that report on corruption within VA hospitals have not surfaced within the past few years, which is definitely a good thing. However, one recent fiasco involving a Los Angeles VA Medical Center is pushing the troubled institution back into the spotlight. During the span of a couple of years, a VA Medical Center in LA closed for a total of twenty two days while pest control professionals cleared insects out of the several story-high medical center. In fact, the insect infestations were so thick and widespread within the hospital that dozens of surgeries had to be postponed until the hospital was cleared of insect pests.
A recent investigation has uncovered the troubles that the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center had had with insect infestations. The insect pests in question are known as Phorid flies, which may be the worst type of insect infestation to occur within a hospital. Phorid flies are dangerous within hospital settings because they are attracted to open wounds.
Since at least November of 2016, officials with the VA Medical Center in West LA had noticed the infestation. In response to the fly presence, officials planted two hundred flytraps all over the building. This infestation has been a serious problem for patients, as the flies are particularly numerous within operating rooms where people undergo surgery. This fly presence forced several of the building’s operating rooms to close for several days at a time, which postponed, and may have complicated some scheduled surgeries. Phorid flies lay their eggs within open wounds, and they can also transmit bacteria to the wounds that they inhabit. In response to this unfortunate situation, a former investigator for the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee claimed that VA leadership failed at the highest levels when it came to handling the infestation.
If your relative was at risk of delayed surgeries due to a potentially deadly fly-pest infestation, would you consider a lawsuit against the government?