PTSD Combat is no longer being updated.

Find Ilona blogging at Magyar Etimológia and Etymartist.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Studies, Reports, Promises and Reality: Another Case of Veteran Neglect

Years of studies, and endless reports showing that the veteran health care system is broken in America. Endless promises made by politicians and overseers of the system. And yet another unbelievable, maddening, saddening, deplorable case of neglect has led to the stateside death of a veteran injured in an Iraqi roadside bomb attack.

From the Associated Press:

An Indiana National Guardsman who died while in the care of an Army unit for wounded soldiers was alone, in excruciating pain and had not been seen by doctors for days, his family said.

Sgt. Gerald Cassidy, 32, of Westfield, died in a chair on the third floor of a renovated barracks at Fort Knox, Ky., in September – five months after arriving at the post with what his family said was brain damage suffered in a roadside explosion in Iraq.

Cassidy’s mother, Kay McMullen, of Carmel, said Tuesday that the manner of his death – and inconsistent treatment that included the Army denying him pain medication – cast doubt on the quality of care for service members if the severely wounded are being left to fend for themselves.

“He died because the Army didn’t care for him,” she said tearfully. “He came back from Iraq, and they killed him.”

In educational interest, article(s) quoted from extensively.

Continuing:

A military autopsy had not been fully completed Tuesday, but results of an independent examination performed at the request of the family could not determine a cause of death. That autopsy, however, found Cassidy had been dead for hours before being found and may have been unconscious for days.

Cassidy’s body was found in his room Sept. 21.

Military officials checked on Cassidy only after his wife made repeated calls to the post begging for help, McMullen said.

His family said a review of voice-mail messages left on Cassidy’s cell phone indicate he had not been checked on for at least two days despite an Army requirement that each soldier be accounted for twice daily. McMullen also said the Army declined to let an Indianapolis doctor treat him until weeks before his death.

Connie Shaffery, spokeswoman for the Army post outside Louisville, Ky., declined to comment. “This is something that is very important to us, and we want to have a conclusive answer,” she said.

Cassidy arrived at Fort Knox in April with blinding headaches, memory and hearing loss and post-traumatic stress disorder. He was assigned to a “warrior transition unit,” which the Pentagon created for wounded service members after problems were discovered at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital.

Under the Army units, each injured service member is to be assigned a doctor, a nurse care manager and a squad leader to manage treatment. A Government Accountability Office report last month, however, found that more than half the 35 new medical units were not fully staffed.

Shaffery said the transition unit at Fort Knox also had not been fully staffed, but that the nearly 250 injured soldiers there get adequate care.

As early as 2003, Fort Knox was the target of criticism for putting injured soldiers in unsuitable living conditions, including outdated wooden barracks unfit for medical care. Wounded soldiers that year were moved to newer, more accommodating buildings, but similar problems were reported at posts including Fort Stewart, Ga.

McMullen questions whether that care was adequate. She said Cassidy was often left in lines waiting to see doctors and would forget whether he took his medications due to memory problems.

On one occasion, Cassidy told family he passed out in his room and woke in a pool of blood coming from his nose and mouth. “He should have had a buddy. He should never have been put in a room by himself,” McMullen said. “He would still be alive if they had let him do that.”

While Congress and the President find themselves incapable of moving quickly to remedy the funding problem, I guess our military families can only expect more of the same.


Related Posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Want to stay connected? You can subscribe to PTSD Combat via Feedburner or follow Ilona on Twitter.
Later/Newer Posts Previous/Older Posts Return Home

Archives
2011: Jan Feb
2010: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2009: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2007: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2005: Sept Oct Nov Dec

Legal Notice

The information presented on this web site is based on news reports, medical and government documents, and personal analysis. It does NOT represent therapeutic prescription or recommendation. For specific advice and information, consult your health care provider.

Comments at PTSD Combat do not necessarily represent the editor's views. Illegal or inappropriate material will be removed when brought to our attention. The existence of such does not reflect an endorsement.



This site contains at times large portions of copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This material is used for educational purposes, to forward understanding of issues that concern veterans and military families. In accordance with U.S. Copyright Law Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. More information.