According to this article, the Veteran Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System is being sued in federal court after a patient, while being treated for small cell lung cancer, contracted Legionnaire’s disease.
VA officials, despite being aware of a Legionnaires’ outbreak, “waited a couple of days” to test the patient (an ex-Marine) after he started showing symptoms of the disease.
Although the patient ultimately died of lung cancer, the man’s family contends that contracting Legionnaires’ Disease accelerated his death, even if it didn’t —strictly speaking— cause it. They say that the disease adversely affected his breathing, which in turn substantially reduced his chances of survival.
At least 22 patients became ill at VA campuses in Oakland and O’Hara between February 2011 and November 2102, and six of them have died. At least five claimants have settled their complaints.
This yet another unfortunate episode of failing to promptly address an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.