A six-month investigation into the West Palm Beach VA Hospital has uncovered veterans exposed to unsanitary conditions.
The local news investigative team found rooms left dirty and improper use of gloves and aprons by employees -putting veterans at risk from cross-contamination.
One veteran who received treatment at the facilities told WPEC, “There was a lot of very questionable dried substances all over the room,” he added, “I think a lot of it may have been human bodily fluids.”
While he was there for a kidney stone, he said his room’s bathroom was so disgusting that he refused to use it.
“I was not going to subject myself to the horrors of the filth in that bathroom,” he said.
The investigation began when a whistleblower -who has chosen to remain anonymous- began taking pictures and video of the horrific conditions.
“It is terrible. It is dirty, filthy, smelly. S**t smells all over. They don’t clean the patients,” he told WPEC.
One of the most horrific findings was an unsealed red biohazardous trash bag, used to dispose of blood, feces, and other bodily fluids, in an open hall closet near food storage.
Photo evidence from the whistleblower also shows a shower seat with dried feces in it.
He claims nurses and doctors were regularly seen violating the Center for Disease Control’s regulations which state gloves should always be changed after use on each patient.
“Not only doctors and nurses and others, housekeepers too. They just don’t follow the health code law,” he said.
“When we learn that we may have fallen short of our patients’ expectations, we take those concerns seriously and determine how we can improve, ” the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center said in a statement.
“For the safety of our patients, we adhere to established policies to include those that address hand hygiene and biohazard waste disposal that staff members are mandated to follow.”
The VA declined to show news investigators areas of the hospital in which the source’s pictures showed dirty conditions because of “patient confidentiality.”
In 2008, the facility was cited for nurses not washing their hands after handling medical equipment and for contaminated equipment stored in the improper place.
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