Could the death of Jordan Buisman been prevented with immediate care? KARE-11 follows up on their earlier exposé on the Minneapolis VA with this heartbreaking story of a young Marine who died while waiting 70 days to get to an appointment that might have otherwise saved his life. Medical attention after his conditioned worsened might have gotten him past the acute crisis in his seizure disorder, but not only did the VA not expedite his request for a follow-up, his appointment got pushed out even further, supposedly at his own request … four days after he died:
Jordan Buisman’s family believes his medical records were falsified to hide serious delays in patient care at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center.
“It really makes me angry,” says Lisa Riley, Jordan’s mother.
Buisman died on November 26, 2012, after being told he would have to wait almost 70 days to get an appointment for a serious seizure disorder at the neurology clinic at the Minneapolis VA.
VA medical records say that four days after his death, Buisman cancelled his scheduled December appointment and requested a later date.
Nor is that the only outrage in the case of Jordan Buisman. The former Marine got in to see a general practitioner in St. Cloud after a seizure landed him in the emergency room, but Buisman’s advancing case required a specialist. The GP referred him to the Minneapolis VA. Buisman called on October 12th for an appointment, but couldn’t get an appointment for seventy days, even with his acute episode and a physician’s referral. The VA is supposed to maintain a 14-day rotation under those circumstances. Buisman accepted the appointment date, but died four weeks before the appointment — a death that a pathologist determined to have a better than 50% chance of being avoided had he seen the specialist and had the appropriate examination and testing done.
Buisman’s case will get a court appointment, though, as the family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the VA. The posthumous record falsification won’t directly apply to the case, but it’s not likely to make the defense more credible, either. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ IG has sent investigators to Minneapolis to start a probe into this and other claims of fraud in this VA office, and it will be interesting to see whether the IG attempts to disconnect Buisman’s death from the wait time issue as he did in Phoenix.