Second patient claims VA hospital discharged him with needle in - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Second patient claims VA hospital discharged him with needle in arm

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Vietnam War Vet Howard Wagner suffers from a traumatic brain injury. Vietnam War Vet Howard Wagner suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
On the day in question Wagner says he was put in a hospital bed and hooked up to a monitor. He was not seen by a regular doctor at the hospital but a contract physician. On the day in question Wagner says he was put in a hospital bed and hooked up to a monitor. He was not seen by a regular doctor at the hospital but a contract physician.
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(WMC-TV) - There are new claims of mistreatment at the Memphis Veterans Hospital. A vet now claims he was cleared to leave with a needle stuck in his arm.

Vietnam War Vet Howard Wagner suffers from a traumatic brain injury.

"I had a better outlook toward them than I do now," said Wagner.

The Marine also lost the use of his leg after it was caught in a trap in the Vietnam War. He has been treated at the Memphis VA Hospital for years.

Wagner says he was shocked when he was sent home with an IV needle still stuck in his arm on January 7.

"I called my wife. I said, 'Hey Anne, guess what? I come home ...' She says, 'What?' I said, 'The needle in my arm,' " said Wagner.

On the day in question Wagner says he was put in a hospital bed and hooked up to a monitor. He was not seen by a regular doctor at the hospital but a contract physician.

"And they put the IV needle in after that," said Wagner. "He left and I guess that's when he told the nurses to watch out for me [and said] don't let me walk because I would fake a fall to get admitted."

Veterans' advocate Randy Wade said this is not the first case involving a veteran at the VA hospital being sent home with a needle in his arm.

"They need to do a top to bottom and get to the bottom of those people and terminate those people," said Wade.

Ever since news broke in October about three mysterious deaths at the Memphis VA and a subsequent congressional investigation, Wade says he keeps hearing from patients and sources alike that things have not improved.

Wagner says he knows the hospital is understaffed, but he says that is no excuse for the treatment he received.

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