A FOIA investigation revealed the Washington DC VA Medical Center has consistently failed to keep its blood bank consistently cool since 2004.

Channel 4 NBC submitted FOIA requests to FDA for records of audits of Washington DC VA’s blood bank and other issues the facility has struggled with due to cooling system failures. The records show the agency failed to keep its blood bank and vaccines cool and safe resulting in wasted tax dollars and risked veterans lives.

The required temperature range is 20-24 Celsius, but agency officials consistently let the temperature vacillate between 25-27 Celsius.

According to NBC:

According to the inspection, which was released to the I-Team under the Freedom of Information Act, a VA official said, “Concerns have been brought up since 2004 but they have not been successfully addressed. (The official) stated although against the firm’s policy, they try to keep doors open in blood bank technical area because it becomes too warm and stuffy and the equipment emits a lot of heat.”

An FDA official declined to comment on the inspection or corrective actions undertaken by the medical center to address the issues. An agency database shows the March inspection findings constituted violations in the blood bank.

Multiple agency officials said the blood bank temperature findings from the FDA were circulated among agency officials at agency headquarters.

The problems with heating and cooling are not limited to the blood bank. One temperature spike last October resulted in the spoiling of over $282,160 worth of flu vaccines.

The Washington DC VA is no stranger to putting veterans’ lives at risk. Reports surfaced last year that agency officials used unsafe practices putting veterans in danger and lost $150 million worth of equipment.

RELATED: Brian Hawkin Fired, Again

Despite President Donald Trump selecting one of his loyalists to run Washington DC VA after Brian Hawkins was twice fired the facility still struggles to keep veterans safe. Lawrence Connell, MD is a Trump loyalist and retired Army doctor selected to run the facility last year. He stepped down as the acting director of the facility in April 2018 due to questions about the nature of his selection.

If VA does fully privatize its health care, maybe the agency should start by shutting down this facility.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. 08/10/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Why are we finding out about this simple fact—14 years later?

    Washington DC VA Medical Center failed to keep its blood bank at the correct temperature—-“The required temperature range is 20-24 Celsius, but agency officials consistently let the temperature vacillate between 25-27 Celsius.”

    Why was this not mentioned in the last 4 years?

    Are there other hospitals that are experiencing this same condition?

    How did the USA Today investigative reporters miss this—out of their banks of hidden whistleblowers?

    VA official said, “Concerns have been brought up since 2004 but they have not been successfully addressed. (The official) stated although against the firm’s policy, they try to keep doors open in blood bank technical area because it becomes too warm and stuffy and the equipment emits a lot of heat.”

    Wow! Real brain power in action at the VA!

    Who was the Director of that VA in 2004 [during the Bush Administration]?

    Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS, CPE, was appointed Acting Director of the Washington DC VA Medical Center effective April 23, 2018. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Director of the VA Maryland Health Care System since August 23, 2015.

    Is Dr, Robinson taking corrective actions after Retired Army Col. Larry Connell who took over at the hospital in April 2017 after Brian Hawkins [started in September 25, 2011] was fired due to “the highest levels of chaos” at the hospital?

    Remember this Hospital was “… accused in the suit is Medical Center Director Brian Hawkins and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. The Milwaukee-based corporation accused of installing the audio and video devices, Johnson Controls, Inc., is also named.”

    So what was really going on at this VA Hospital?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • I wonder if there has been any deaths, issues or disease over the years contributed or allowed to be with the blood issues or other problems they’ve had in that specific hospital.

      Too warm so keep the doors open? Good point.

      If this was in my state with any hospital VA or not we’d never even hear of it like we don’t hear about many ‘insider’ issues like before. Like the spread of Mersa, Staph, hand washing issues surgical nurses use to be open about, etc.

      Locally we’ve had major issues for years and the public will never hear much truth about any of it. Or maybe one mention on any topic then dropped, to be ‘studied.’
      Huge head lice, Scabies, bed bug issues.
      Said to be a epidemic spread of Hep A, B, C, etc.
      Same with HIV/AIDs. Blamed on dope use but other factors aren’t PC to be reported on.
      Some of the highest rates of infant mortality.
      Teen suicide rates. Vet count like others go un-reported to the public for families sake and privacy issues. We are supposed to believe what our fearless leaders, liars, propagandist, LEOs, media tells us.
      Highest cancer rates.
      High brain cancer rates.

      Ahhh but we are a happy happy global village and sanctuary state. Everything is just puuurfect here.

      • Yes —good point:

        “Too warm so keep the doors open?”—–keep the milk at room temperature—-wow!

        “If this was in my state with any hospital VA or not we’d never even hear of it like we don’t hear about many ‘insider’ issues like before. Like the spread of Mersa, Staph, hand washing issues surgical nurses use to be open about, etc.”

        So—Have there been deaths related to this condition caused by Management’s Wanton Negligence? How many deaths since 2004?

        T–you are wrong—“happy happy global village” —“Take me to Candyland as fast as you can, Take me to your Tomorrow Land”—-Lyrics in a song I wrote—see it on Youtube under the Karg Reed Band.

  2. “Privatize?” With what I’ve experienced with civilian care, the scams, the covering up for the VA and staff, continuation of the grand VA and state’s retaliation health care systems, to being swamped with foreign MDs and all the special protected ones in some areas that may not be the way to go. Then the politics of it all. It all just …. depends.

    We will still be dealing with a very corrupted and self serving mainstream medical system and the AMA, big Pharma, rip off unreliable high priced insurance corporations, politicians and scum being huge stockholders in one or more of them, etc. Still deal with collective punishments to them all thinking they have to save us from ourselves or too stupid or incompetent to take meds, to being automatically treated like criminals with all the possible background checks prove that, LEO oversight and more. Again depending on your locale and local established machinery or availability of possibles for health care types and providers. Not to forget all the other issues with hi tech failures, file sharing/leaks/human errors intentional or not, dealing with those algorithms and stuff that claim can predict our futures, motives, needs or character.

    Need more? You may find the same stuff that plaques the VA plaques civvy care. No whistle blowers, no transparency, covering up, the defending, finding block walls instead of investigations of gross professional misconduct, the activist of course, more unions and associations to deal with or appease. Like the VA piss one off you may piss off the whole sheebang or local system of things. Anything that has been inserted ‘along with your file for internal use only’ and “may not be included in your file release or as defined by law for you to receive” will remain for life. Like in my case one ‘professional’ or type will most likely support and protect the others regardless of your needs or truth. Called “professional courtesies” which is supported in states and towns like mine. No fighting it since the protections and cover-ups also ‘come from the top’ and agencies protecting them all.

    Shouldn’t be a huge issue or problem with the grand powers and money of big government. Keep some of that big money going to foreign filth and put it towards vet care. Those who like VA care or think they are getting ‘quality care’ let them stay and enjoy it. If not, hand out cards and allow them to get straight up civvy care with long travel times be damned. Long travel time in rural areas… the VA can pay for it instead of the gov taking care of illegals for free or supporting sanctuary cities or states …. like mine. Where there is a will there is a way. Disconcern, generational stalling, no will … no way. Give us the same care Congress critters and the local cliques and politicians have access to. Something even these ‘Cancer Institutes” and specialty hospitals have to accept, not deny. Again the issues of over-sight to self-policing would be major issues, plus trust.

    • That’s not @ all how the civ system works. What you are describing is VA care & VA care with Civs under Choice Act. If you completely left the VA & paid for your own dr you wouldn’t be having these issues. Choice Act is still VA & those drs still answer to VA. Completely civilian care is NOTHING like you describe. I’m a mainstream prominent advocate. I’ve saved over a thousand+ vets so far from VA got them set up in completely civ care & they are flourishing & have zero problems especially not corruption. If you completely cut the VA out there’s no more problems. BTW you can totally submit reimbursement forms for real civ care.

      • Molly, you must be new or not following the history I’ve been posting out here along on my FB page that keeps censoring me and not allowing me to contact scum fed, VA protecting local civilian care. I left the VA in 2015 had serious issues since and not two weeks under Union Hospital care, then UAP got little but the same VA and activist treatments and identity politics BS. The husband, city council Democrats who hate me, oh… with spouses at the hospital that also spreads my info around, has also, with recordings and much proof withheld my med records from me, still are to the amazement of many locally including health care workers and medical supply people, and MDs I was trying to see. So MY locale is a totally different machine, town, state, etc., than what I live in and deal with. So don’t play the goddamn VA game thinking we are all alike, experience the same issues or problems in life, are treated the same across the board.

        Hey drop your real name, contact info and help me okay? I know what I’ve done, going through medically, politically, with the VA, without the fucking VA scum, at the CBOCs, dumped them- must have pissed them all off, then through Roudebush and their games, activist Democrat BS, told to use the card, then told not to use the card but drive a hundred miles never using civvy emergency rooms again but only go to VA ER. Auto wreck, heart attack, etc,… drive. Plus told if leaving the VA we’d never find care in Indiana again? And that shit is okay?

        Six hour long waits here in one pain clinic for pain meds or do without and sign a bunch of forms and treated like a criminal? Dentist to oral surgeons refusing to X-ray the broken and shattered jaw the VA gave me as part of a parting gift and civvy care and everyone out there contacted or boards refuse to get involved? Oh nothing wrong there either? Not going to give a total break-down on it enough has been posted out here about all. So I think you are just another one jerking my chain and making false claims. If you think you can do wonders, prove me wrong, do so. I got the papers, recordings, refusals to get involved, whatever you need. But you like others won’t. And I have contacted them, ALL. You all in your area play well together in the same sand box and must sing the Democrat Kumbaya song and live in happy land but that is not in all states or totally corrupted towns and states. The ass hats here even tried a house fire to shut me up, like their censoring and hard core covering up isn’t bad enough.

        Please, being told it’s legal and nothing to be done about HIPPA or Dis Act of “70” to basic human rights, civil rights, etc., can NOT be had here or found, nor anyone to honestly investigate the many issues once we are a target? Or keep stepping on the wrong toes or the many harassing and threatening phone calls, or being asked if we are trying to get someone fired or cause problems, make them look bad, locally at the CBOC by some family member or clique or associations?

        More BS…. “reimbursement forms?” C’mon get real.

  3. “[…If VA does fully privatize its health care, maybe the agency should start by shutting down this facility…]”

    Benjamin, you should know better by now that the VA game of WHack-A-Mole (WHAM) requires asshole game-pieces on the board game, and places like the D.C. VAMC, Phoenix,Tomah… list goes on and on…ALL VA FACILITIES are part of the VA Federal Works Welfare Program, and certain facilities are used as a “Go To Jail Card”, that’s actually a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” in disguise, allowing the asshole game-pieces to retire with full benefits, and it all repeats in a sinister loop of assholes “Passing Go & Collecting $200K”…

    Truth be told, the D.C. VAMC was just cooking-up some old problems hoping to create a problem for a brand new solution; that solution would require that thing called $$$$$… by using the randomness parameter of not keeping the power and temps consistent….all for the Vets.

    However, a really large part of me firmly believes those assholes drink Veteran’s blood to keep their oh-so-pleasant demeanor toward us Vets….yep, keeping it closer to purple team’s temp of their own blood…still cold as ice, but not cold enough to prevent undesired/desired outcomes.

  4. It is a filthy pit of serpents we toss veterans into, is it not?

    Seperate but equal means one side of seperate gets the spoiled chicken, fresh maggots, and rotted blood and the other side gets non-VA health care and thus leaves behind those human beings when in time of desperate need for courage for America stepped up and answered the call from the weak and whom used to be called our nations heroes.

    This bad blood represents not the promise America made to vets, but rather Americas best try at keeping it. We trusted a thing called VA to do this for us. Now we call our nations heros “inventory” instead of individual human beings. To VA the vets are nothing more than a body bag still walking around that they are required to smile at and they could care less what gets squirted into a body bag.

  5. The VA’s agenda is to kill as many veterans as possible. So more taxpayers monies goes into the pockets of those at the top!
    See, it’s easy to formulate the “WHY!”

  6. “The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle, or suffer, or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not be adjusted.”
    “In the year of our Ford” Aldous Huxley

      • I love them too, and when the doors of perception open up wide, it can be a profound eye opener. I just love books. I didn’t realize till recently that he wrote over fifty books, I’ll have to start beefin up my library again.

  7. Rise and Shine Veterans called your Senator and Representatives contact the Veteran Affairs Committee passed a new Veteran Benefits Law your belief how to improve Veterans Healthcare and Disabled Veterans is 100 percent remember without Veterans would not be called United States.

  8. Haaa!!
    Was just there yesterday for skin biopsy. Took half my shoulder for it. (Insert sigh)
    This wouldn’t surprise me since the place is a brutal maze of madness guys!!

    Mustve broke 10 speed laws getting there late. Just getting to the place takes crazy Land Nav Skills. Red Camera lights aside, a walk in front door is amusing to say the least. Cant say I’ve been to Blood Bank myself, but can say I wont now!
    Errra.

  9. A 71 year old veteran received blunt forced trauma to the head (he later died from) while being restrained by a nurse’s aide, at va pineville, la. VA said it was an accident but coroner said he died from blunt force trauma to the head, someone had killed him. DA charged him with man slaughter. Trial was continually postponed for four years, probably waiting for a witness to die so her testimony could be discounted as hearsay. Nurse’s aide continued to work at this vamc for almost four years while under indictment for man slaughter. Nurse’s aide got one year probation. Won’t use VAMC’s, fear for my life.

    • And that story would not make the top thousand. You left out the the CNA felt the situation made him feel ill. So the hospital sent him home for a week, paid! Can’t be fixed. Need to find a way Denver was lucky to find at fitzsimmons, 50ft from the larger hospital with resources to help. Denver when moved in entirely can ask UC Hospital for help and go next store and help. There’s not too many places as large that close to being a shithole.

  10. “Culture of complacency” that persisted for years, the VA sent in teams of medical experts to “improve” the situation. It didn’t help, says taskandpurpose.com. I’ve been reading reports about this shit hole for long long time now, since at least 2007, mold, mouse turds, peeling wallpaper, disabled vets living in squalor. and broken water main pipes, causing massive flooding, a dead veteran left in the parking lot for over a day. The list goes on.

    • Apology, I confused myself, the WRAMC and the Washington D.C. VAMC are different, but both are the same type of shit holes, or the WRAMC was a shit hole until it was shutdown in 2011.

  11. It’s losers that don’t handle problems that are not in their job description. I can hear now, I don’t care, let all the blood go bad and that will teach them. When the director knew all those vaccines went bad, did nothing but call a repair company that already told them needs replacement plenty of times? Should have been fired. Managers, directors what ever called, it’s their duty to find solutions. I have no idea what was wrong, but it does say it was working, just not good enough. Just like employees there, not good enough. Just needed to put a chunk of dry ice in and would make reach correct temps. Then director should have called. At every wee, keeping a log of who told her no. They also should have brought several companies in for advice even to correct for short periods of time. Then get several estimates to find a cost, going through the budget line by line where to find money to correct. That place has an enormous budget not to find some. Instead talked to maintenance and one HVAC company say need new. They keep asking questions until find a way to fix and I would be down there on every visit trying fix. Everyone knows, especially in a place with so many buildings, that there are some very good refrigeration guys somewhere within the system to help resolve. Instead they blame the last person that left. There’s always a way if you care.

  12. They’re not worthy of having soldiers and marines fighting and dying for them!…..They’re never worthy of it and never will be.

  13. Now that we’re less than 90 days out from the midterm elections, get ready for all those vying for a position in the government to be using veterans as a stepping stone!
    Heard it yesterday on my favorite radio station: “WDBO” 96.5 FM.
    From what was discussed, there’s a number of vets running for governor, Senate seats, House seats, dog catcher, and other positions.
    Sad we only have two or three individuals we can choose from. And they only want to get richer!

  14. I am a 100% service connected veteran, An honorable Certificate of Disability for discharge, world war 2, ninety six year old veteran, I live alone in my house, use a walker, widowed no family live close, approved for in home care, no money to fund my in home service. I was in home service by Maxim Healthcare Service inc. #606930125, serviced for approximately five years. Clyde Carr

    • God Bless you Clyde!
      Saw your note here and absolutely had to recognize you for all you’ve been thru! You are one of very few left sir, do not give up the fight no matter what you read. If someone started a “Go Fund Me” for you I’d gladly donate! Semper Fidelis!!

  15. Why the news of this is enough to curdle the blood of any Veteran, reporter, Doctor, Nurse or civilian. Yet no one is being charged for the negligence even though there were people who knew about it.

    They need to round up everyone who knew about the unresolved problem and throw them into a rock crusher, f-ing afge slugs. Let be the stains on the earth they have earned.

    • Speaking of ‘Round-Up’, seems farmers and grandma gardeners are going to win a huge class action lawsuit against Monsanto for neurotoxins used for decades that knowingly was lethal to humans….hmmmm where did we hear this and experience this, some still experiencing, effects of Monsanto’s precursor product?

      Yep, Agent Orange. All the extra talk on news tonight talking about all the migrant farmers lining-up while I guess being Round-Up, going for the GOLD ($$$).

      Yet, same co. got off scot-free with Agent Orange and all the Veterans and their offspring still suffering?

      What’s wrong with this picture? Freedom is not free!

      • But not one ~PEEP~ on news about Agent Orange and plight of Veterans still…I wonder if Monsanto also won a news media blackout nondisclosure agreement to not say a ~PEEP~ about it?

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