We're still waiting on public records to shed more light on the disturbing news that backed-up toilet water dripped from the ceilings as surgeries took place at the Phoenix VA hospital.
(See our original piece from last week, reported nowhere else, in which officials at the hospital admitted to the problem.)
The spokeswoman at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, Paula Pedene, wasn't able to tell us last week if one particularly disgusting part of the allegation was true: That the leaking water dripped directly into the surgical wounds of patients. We still haven't heard back from her on that question.
Today, though, we received an e-mail from someone who seems to know more about the situation. Here's a highlight:
Dr Bourdages was doing an open cholecystectomy when "clean" sewage water dripped from the ceiling into the patients open abdomen.
Similarly, our vascular surgeon experienced the same on a patient during a AVF revision. Both copiously irrigated the surgical field with antibiotic irrigation, and full disclosure was made to the patients and their family.
As Pedene told us last week, the liquid started out as "clean" backed-up toilet water -- it wasn't raw sewage.
Obviously, though, by the time that water dripped through the floors and ceilings, it was nothing like clean.
The e-mail's author, like the writer of the letter about the problem last week, chose to stay anonymous. We can't tell you if both the letter and e-mail were written by the same person. But since much of the first anonymous complaint to us was verified by VA officials, we feel comfortable reporting these unverified, yet wholly believable, details. As mentioned, we've put in a public records request and expect to find out more.
The e-mail writer claims water dripped in surgery rooms a total four times, not two.
As we previously reported, the VA says the problem was fixed.
But the anonymous whistleblower wants New Times to know about other, broader concerns about the surgical team at the VA. We'll keep those allegations to ourself until we do some more investigatin'.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.