Hospice Leaves Deceased American Veteran’s Body In Shower For 9 Hours


If you are reading this, you were also shocked by the headline. No, it is not fake. It is a real news story.

According to news reports, VA hospital in Florida left a hospice patient who passed away in the shower for 9 hours. When the hospice patient passed away, hospice staff members requested a “transporter” to get the deceased veteran’s body moved to the morgue. However, the transporter told the requesting staff that it was not a proper request, and they need to follow the proper procedures to notify dispatchers.

However, no one notified dispatchers. When no one came right away, the body was moved to the hallway and then into the shower room. The deceased veteran’s body remained in the shower for 9 hours until someone realized the mistake and the body was transported.

A full investigation was conducted, and found that staff failed to comply with the proper procedures and failed to check a 24-hour nursing report which would indicate whether the death was properly reported. Staff also failed to update the nursing organizations chart which hampered efforts to determine who was in charge to report the death.

Whether you blame the hospice staff for rather incompetent, or the transporter for not following up or just doing it himself or herself, this is a veteran who served our country who was completely disrespected. It is these kinds of mental lapses by staff in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice practices which result in serious issues. In this case, it was a serious lack of disrespect and health code violations.

While unlikely to be medical malpractice, at least under New York law, it demonstrates who even basic policies and procedures could not be followed. This also shows how medical malpractice can occur for issues like bed sores and infections, because even basic policies and procedures cannot be followed and more complicated policies and procedures certainly won’t be followed.

Horrible, horrible, horrible. This cannot happen to some of America’s finest, and it just goes to show how medical errors happen.

But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com. You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.