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The VA failed to track a vet's home care appointments. Then his foot became infected, and his leg had to be amputated
After social workers at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Indianapolis were directed to stop tracking home healthcare visits with patients, one veteran's care went overlooked and he ended up having part of his leg amputated because of it, according to a U.S. Office Of Special Counsel report sent to President Donald Trump in a letter on Wednesday.
The veteran — unnamed in the report — was discharged from the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis after being treated for "diabetic ketoacidosis and an ulcerated foot abscess" in June 2017. According to the report, he was supposed to receive a home healthcare consultation to help change the bandages on his foot, but the consult wasn't properly processed and he didn't get the necessary care.
His foot became infected, and required a below-the-knee amputation "due to the delay in receiving dressing changes from a home care agency," the Special Counsel report said.
The incident came to light after three whistleblowers alleged that "the medical center management directed social workers to stop entering home health care consults into the Computerized Patient Record System without training other staff to perform this function," the report found. They also claimed that a lack of "adequate planning, training and communication" contributed to delays in care.
As for who told employees not to record details on home care visits, the report placed the blame on the chief and assistant chief of Social Work Services at the medical center who "directed social workers to stop entering home health care consults due to concerns it was outside the social workers' scope of practice."
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie agreed with the report's findings.
"We found this decision led to a system breakdown, as the transition was not implemented with key services in a collaborative and cohesive manner, allowing time for coordination and education," Wilkie wrote in an Aug. 13, 2018 letter on the incident which was provided to Task & Purpose along with the Special Counsel report. "Second, the lack of adequate planning, training, and communication resulted in a significant delay in at least one veteran's case with potential harm for others."
Following the incident, the Indianapolis VA Medical Center updated how it tracked home care consults, provided training to "key staff members, clarifying that entering home health care consults is within the scope of practice for social workers," stopped the practice of "discontinuing incomplete consults," and directed referral nurses to immediately contact the provider or social worker to address an incomplete consult, according to the report.
While it's all well and good that the underlying issues have been remedied, it's unclear why it was ever allowed to happen in the first place.
"It is unconscionable that after serving his country, a veteran lost his limb not on the battlefield, but because of mistakes made by the agency entrusted to take care of him," Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote in the report. "While I commend the VA for taking the necessary steps to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future, this situation should never have happened."
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'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.