Sunday, February 18, 2007

Walter Reed Comander: Hospital overwhelmed by Iraq wounded

A double-amputee at Walter Reed. The injury had been caused by an I.E.D. in Iraq.

WASHINGTON — The head of the Army hospital responsible for most of the seriously injured war veterans has acknowledged that the staff responsible for tracking patients after they receive treatment was overwhelmed by the number of wounded when violence spiked in Iraq two years ago.

The undermanned staff may have led to wounded veterans falling through the bureaucratic and medical cracks, he said.

Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, commander of the prestigious Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said the number of outpatient soldiers reached a high of 872 in summer 2005, up from about 100 before the war, leaving the military and medical staff responsible for monitoring their well-being unable to keep on top of critical cases.

"We found that the platoon sergeants that we had for accountability and the case managers that we had, they were literally managing 125 patients each," Weightman said. "That's too many to do [oversight] effectively."

Read the rest at the LA Times

Related Link:
Perspective: Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Walter Reed