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Veteran dies waiting for ambulance in VA hospital

By The Associated Press

This article was published July 3, 2014 at 2:52 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.

Officials at the hospital said it took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown said Kirtland Air Force Medical Group personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

She says staff followed policy in calling 911 when the man collapsed on Monday. "Our policy is under expedited review," Brown said.

The man's name hasn't been released.

The death comes at the Department of Veterans Affairs remains under scrutiny for widespread reports of long delays for treatment and medical appointments and of veterans dying while on waiting lists.

A review last week cited "significant and chronic system failures" in the nation's health system for veterans. The review also portrayed the struggling agency as one battling a corrosive culture of distrust, lacking in resources and ill-prepared to deal with an influx of new and older veterans with a range of medical and mental health care needs.

The scathing report by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors said the Veterans Health Administration, the VA sub agency that provides health care to about 8.8 million veterans a year, has systematically ignored warnings about its deficiencies and must be fundamentally restructured.

Comments on: Veteran dies waiting for ambulance in VA hospital

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

idakin2 says... July 3, 2014 at 3:12 p.m.

This is absurd. Expedited review? Our veterans need much more support and respect than this.

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SUPERDUTY says... July 3, 2014 at 4:33 p.m.

Rules are rules. We cannot break the rules, even if it will save someone's life. After all, it was just some old veteran. Funny how the government changes the rules after the vet has paid his dues.

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Indian08 says... July 3, 2014 at 5:26 p.m.

Existing policy is absurd. And my Arkansas neighbor, a Navy veteran, is still waiting for an appointment at a VA hospital.

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2boxers says... July 3, 2014 at 11:11 p.m.

this breaks my heart shame shame, shame.

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TGRANNY says... July 4, 2014 at 2:01 a.m.

This is a shame before God's kingdom. Shameful.

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