MEMPHIS, Sept. 16, 2015 — The veteran responsible for leaking a videotape showing nurses leaving quadriplegics and paraplegics unattended at the Memphis VA has told CDN that he continues to receive poor treatment.
He reports that his health has deteriorated to a dangerous level.
In August, several leaked videos first broadcast by CDN, then by Fox News and most recently by the local Memphis Fox station showed spinal cord injury patients repeatedly left unattended at the Memphis VA.
Since those videos were leaked, the patient, whose identity is being protected by CDN, says he has faced retaliation by hospital staff. He further says this is part of a pattern of mistreatment at the hospital.
Soon after CDN first broadcast the videos, the patient says he was put on bed rest and not allowed to move around. He now says things have gone from bad to worse.
Starting on Sept. 1, the patient says he noticed blood in his urine and asked a nurse to replace the catheter. He said the nurse denied his request, saying the catheter had recently been replaced.
Six days later, he said he started experiencing shakes and chills and was told to drink lots of water.
He asked the see a doctor the following day but was told there was no doctor on call. Two days later, still not having seen a doctor, he was transferred to the intensive care unit where at about 2 p.m., he was finally seen by a doctor.
The next day he was told he is septic, having caught some sort of a germ.
In one of the videos released, the nurses are not wearing proper gowns, which are required to protect from the spread of disease and germs and ward against sepsis, which is a common hospital-born infection that can be avoided with proper care and precautions. Sepsis can quickly become fatal.
Darrell Greene of the local Fox station picked up the story last week, interviewing Arthur Schorr, an author and consultant to hospitals with more than three decades of health care management experience. Schorr told Greene that preventing the spread of infectious diseases should be paramount in such a situation. “The presumption is that every caregiver on that ward — whether it’s a nurse, an aide or a tech — understands the significance of the spread of infectious disease.”
An email to Memphis VA press person Willie Logan was left unreturned.
Since being admitted to ICU, the patient has also learned that he has kidney stones, which can be quite painful, often compared to women’s labor pains in severity. Pain and blood in urine is a first indicator of stones.
Following the release of the videos by CDN in August, the story was picked up nationally by the Fox News Channel before Greene’s story aired locally. In the broadcast, Greene said he has received numerous calls from other veterans at that hospital with similar stories.