Three Veterans May Have Died Due to Misdiagnoses, VA Officials Say

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – Officials say three veterans may have died due to the misdiagnoses at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

This information comes after a public town hall meeting Monday morning.

The incorrect diagnoses are due to a pathologist who was found to be impaired on the job.

As a result, the VA had to review 33,806 cases and as of last Friday, 14,980 reviews have been made.

From that number, over 1,000 errors and misdiagnoses have been found.

Almost 70% of the misdiagnoses resulted in no or little error, which does not have any negative clinical impact on affected patients. 

Almost 6% of all the reviews resulted in a disagreement of the initial diagnoses, calling for some changes but still have no negative clinical impact on the affected patient. 

Almost 2% of the reviews resulted in major errors of the initial diagnoses, calling for some modification and a brand new report. 

Interim Director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Kelvin Parks, said eleven of those reviews had serious consequences. Three of those eleven may have died due to misdiagnoses. 

18,826 cases still need review, and Parks said half of the reviews will be made by a VA pathologist and the other half will be reviewed by non-VA pathologists.

The VA hopes to finish all of the reviews by December 31. 

Right now the impaired pathologist and the supervisor of that pathologist no longer work for the VA, and the organization is still looking for a replacement.

The next town hall meeting to discuss this further will be October 29 at 11 am.

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