#VAFail: Doctor Leaves Scalpel in Veteran, Causing Him Years of Pain
In 2013, Glenford Turner, an Army veteran, had surgery at the Veterans Affairs hospital in West Haven, CT.
But even after recovering from the surgery, Turner experienced abdominal pain. VA doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing the problem, and Turner suffered for the next four years.
Then, in 2017, Turner underwent an MRI—and the abdominal pain became so excruciating doctors stopped the procedure and performed an X-ray.
There, on the screen, was a five-inch scalpel. When the MRI’s powerful magnet turned on, it had begun attracting the knife in Turner’s abdomen.
Doctors finally realized what had happened. During his procedure four years earlier, the surgeon had left the scalpel inside Turner. For four years, it had been causing him pain.
Turner underwent surgery soon afterwards to have the scalpel removed, but he hasn’t been able to get any answers since then.
“It’s perplexing to me how they could be so incompetent that a scalpel that really should only be on the exterior of your body not only goes into the body but then is sewn into the body,” Turner’s lawyer told NPR.
Turner is now suing the VA over the incident, but it shouldn’t take a lawsuit for our nation’s veterans to be treated properly.
Veterans deserve better quality of care than the treatment Turner was given. If their VA facility provides substandard care like Turner received, veterans should be able to go elsewhere.
If you’re fed up with mistreatment of the men and women who served our country, tell your lawmakers it’s time to give veterans control over their own health care decisions.