Things to know about emergency care

by Natalie Dosstter
(Albuquerque New Mexico )

My father passed away almost 3 years ago, it was unexpected, we new that he had cancer and he was scheduled to have surgery on his kidneys at the va hospital ( he was in the Korean War)
The va is a great place for veterans to mingle with other vets. There is coffee and donuts in the main area, they sometimes have musical bands that play in the main lobby. My dad went to weekly groups to help him deal with his PTSD. He was very happy with this hospital.

The Saturday before his scheduled surgery my sister called me and said that my dad was unresponsive and that the ambulance was taking him to the va hospital . When I got there, most of my family was there, and we almost took up most of the waiting room. When the attending came to explain that my dad's kidneys had failed, he also told us that they were going to transfer him to another hospital because they're hospital did not have drs available on the weekend. I had forgotten this information( a month earlier I had taken my dad to the emergency room because he was peeing blood clots. We had been in the emergency room on a Sunday and were there till 1 in the morning, they sent my father home that night and made an appt to see a dr that morning at 8 am. I asked " we'll can't he just stay here" and they said " no there are no drs on the weekend" .

My dad was still in the emergency room hours later and we kept asking when will they transfer to the other hospital, they said they were waiting for a room to become available. That night they said that they still hadn't heard back, the next morning, the same thing, they were waiting for them to call, that afternoon they told us that because it was already later in the day, and also because it was Sunday they were just going to have him see a dr at the va the next morning.

My dad was 78 years old, he was a very strong man, he lived on a ranch, and was always outside working on whatever projects he could find, but because his body had gone 2 days with toxins from his kidneys running through his body he was unable to recover. He died . . .

So, please be aware, if u know a veteran please, please, please let them no that the va hospital is not open on the weekends. Also, they should no that if they go to a hospital that is not a va affiliate they will not be eligible to receive the death benefits that they are entitled to.

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