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Thread: Ailing war vet dies after VA hospital calls 911 for help

  1. #1
    beltman713 Guest

    Ailing war vet dies after VA hospital calls 911 for help

    Ailing war vet dies after VA hospital calls 911 for help


    Associated Press

    A Spokane veteran of three wars died after collapsing in the parking lot of a veterans hospital where staffers called 911 instead of helping the man.

    Clinton L. Fuller had a friend take him to Veterans Affairs Medical Center for treatment of asthma and emphysema when he collapsed mid-afternoon Sept. 30.

    "This man who fought three wars was dying in front of the VA Hospital, and no one inside would help," said the Rev. Eugene Singleton, who drove Fuller. "I thought a professional person, no matter who you are, who has taken an oath to save lives, would help."

    Medically, the patient was handled appropriately, said Joe Manley, director of the VA center, which had stopped offering nighttime care and was now closing at 4:30 p.m.

    "The patient arrived at our facility in respiratory distress," he said. "The most skilled people we had went out to the patient, but you have to have the professional equipment to do the work."

    The procedure Fuller needed would have required a tube being put down his throat to help him breathe, Manley explained.

    The timing, he said, had nothing to do with Fuller not being helped by VA staff.

    "Calling the fire department was quicker than getting equipment and bringing it back out or finding someone who could offer the medical assistance," he said.

    Singleton often drove Fuller, 83, to the VA hospital, where he was a regular patient.

    On Sept. 30, Fuller's wife, Marilyn, called Singleton to again make the trip.

    "After I got there, it took him a while to get out of the house. He brought a little bag with his Bible and such. He wanted to go to the hospital to be treated for his asthma and emphysema," said Singleton, a reverend at St. Matthew Institutional Baptist Church.

    Nearing the hospital around 4:35 p.m., Singleton said his friend slumped over onto his shoulder, and he couldn't wake him.

    Singleton ran into the urgent care center and yelled for help before returning with a wheelchair for Fuller.

    A security guard came outside and said the center closed at 4:30 p.m. but 911 had been called.

    Paramedics arrived within minutes and took Fuller to Deaconess Medical Center, where he died an hour and 10 minutes after collapsing.

    Despite serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, Fuller was disrespected by VA hospital workers, said Singleton, who as a veteran himself said he'd never seek care at the hospital.

    "I don't want to be treated like that," he said. "I get emotional every time I think about it."

    The VA hospital, which underwent a $3.2 million expansion in 2005, eliminated the center's nighttime hours in July. Hospital officials said very few patients visited after 4:30 p.m.

  2. #2
    Cloak & Swagger Guest
    When an anonymous neocon official was asked to comment on this sad story he simply said: "Look, we're in a war to treat death and illness over there so we don't have to treat it here."

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