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Hospital negligence claimed in soldier's death

The widow of a soldier who briefly received care in Maryland is not convinced that a sniper's bullet was what caused her husband's death. Rather, the woman believes that her husband's death was the result of negligent hospital care he received in the military care system. The military and the hospital, however, are not quite ready to admit to any medical malpractice or medical negligence.

After he was shot in Afghanistan in April 2011, the soldier was transferred to Germany and later to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. Shortly after arriving in Washington, the man underwent 10 surgeries in a matter of two days. After showing early signs of recovery, the military prepared to transfer the soldier to a veteran's hospital in Florida for rehabilitation. But the transfer never occurred.

While still at Walter Reed, the man's wife noticed bleeding at her husband's surgical site. According to the woman, an infection had set in because no one had changed his bandage in some time. The infection led to 10 washouts of the wound, extensive discomfort, and complications with breathing. Once, he even flatlined. Doctors later realized the man's esophagus was torn from bone fragments. It was then he was transferred to Maryland.

For months the man was transferred from one hospital to the next, undergoing treatment after treatment, but things just got worse. He eventually died this past March. According his wife, the death was preventable. Unfortunately, even if she can prove it, an old law protects military hospitals from liability.

Fighting medical malpractice is never easy, but in most cases the law is on the side of the victim. Sadly, that isn't the case here. Still, most victims of hospital negligence and their surviving family members are entitled to compensation for the damages they suffer and losses they endure.

Source: The Capital-Journal, "Wife of fallen soldier working to keep his memory alive," Ann Marie Bush, July 3, 2012

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