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Frank Bailey
Frank Bailey
Contributor •

Did The Late Rep. John Murtha Die From a Preventable Medical Error?


Fox News is reporting the congressman’s large intestine was damaged during gallbladder surgery. The gallbladder surgery was performed at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md.

Rep. Bob Brady said an infection developed and that Murtha had a fever when he was admitted to the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va. where he later died.

If in fact the large intestine was damaged during the gallbladder surgery, this is an unusual complication.

We will have to wait for more information before deciding if this was a preventable medical error.


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    Betheseda Naval Hospital as well as Walter Reed Army Medical Center are cesspools of infection.
    My husband survived a bomb blast in Baghdad but nearly died from the toxic drugs used to treat the Acinetobacter baumannii infection he picked up in the military medical evacuation system.
    Ask about the infection rates…..
    You won’t get an answer

  2. Frank Bailey says:
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    Thank you for your comment. It is a shame our military hospitals are so poorly run. We owe our military our very best medical care, not the substandard care our military currently receives.
    I hope your husband survived his ordeal and will contact his senator and representive with a full account of how our brave fighting men and women are being treated.

  3. JILL PAUL says:
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    Frank, did Congressman Murtha have laparoscopic surgery to remove his gallbladder? If so, I have seen multiple complications from doing such a surgery through a “peep” hole. Regarding the Acinetobacter infection, Betheseda and Walter Reed are not the only Hospitals faced with increasing infection rates these days. MRSA is rampant. Our overuse of antibiotics has created this horrendous problem. This is not unique to any one facility nor is it the fault of the medical personnel giving care. It is a global problem that ALL Hospitals are attempting to eradicate. Thank you.

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    Thanks Frank, my husband survived and I did everything in my power to keep this from happening to others but it was not then in July 2003, nor is it now an issue our elected officials will take on.
    Hospital Acquired infections are due more to unsanitary conditions and failure to follow infectious disease protocol.
    The problem of drug resistance and polymicrobial infections is certainly due to theindiscriminate use of antibiotics.
    Before 2003 Acintobacter baumannii and other gram negative bacterial infections were a rarity in US hosptitals.
    The military medical evacuation system provided prime conditions for proliferation and fast tracked drug resistance via their desperate efforts to save life and limb. As always it was the DoD’s knee jerk reaction to cover this problem up rather make the effort to contain it.
    At one point as many as fifty percent of injured soldiers and contractors were being infected. The drugs used to treat gram negative infections do not work on gram positives like MRSA and only enable them.
    These soldiers were sent to Military and VA medical facilities all across the US which became infected.
    Injured Contractors were sent on to Community Hospitals all across our country. There are outbreaks of MDR Acinetobacter baumanii in every country of the Coalition or country where TCN’s have been repatriated via the US Military Evacuation System.
    My husband was in Iraq as a contractor and took this dangerous bug with him to Orlando.
    These infections and the toxic drugs used to treat them severely inhibit recovery and contribute to long term disabilities.
    The hospitals should be held accountable for their negligence.

  5. Frank Bailey says:
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    Thanks Marci and Jill for your input. I am glad there are those of us who care.