Minor surgeries to resume at Marion VA hospital

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Minor surgeries will resume next month at a Veterans Affairs hospital in southern Illinois where surgeries were stopped after a spike in post-surgical deaths.

All surgeries were halted at the Marion VA Medical Center last August after the VA found at least nine deaths between October 2006 and March 2007 were "directly attributable" to substandard care.

Several surgeons at the hospital that serves veterans from southern Illinois, southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky were placed on leave. One surgeon resigned last August after a Murray, Ky., man bled to death following gallbladder surgery.

After a review, the VA's national director of surgery, Dr. Ralph DePalma, recommended that certain surgeries be allowed to take place.

Officials said minor outpatient procedures for low-risk patients will resume on May 8.

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