A Veterans Affairs clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, has launched an investigation after the father of an Army veteran posted photos of “unsanitary” conditions in a patient room his son was seen in, KSL, a local NBC affiliate first reported.
In the pictures, medical supplies are open on a counter, a garbage can is overflowing with disposable bed pads, and what appears to be plaster for casts is sitting in an open sink.
"I figured they would say, 'Oh, this room's not clean' and take me somewhere else, but they just kind of blew past it, didn't acknowledge it," Christopher Wilson, an Iraq War veteran told KSL. "They're doctors, right? So I figure one of them was going to say 'Let's go somewhere else' or 'Give us a minute to clean it,' but nothing."
Stephen Wilson, Christopher’s father, put the pictures up on Twitter Friday, writing that the condition of the room was “unprofessional, unsanitary and disrespectful.”
Dr. Karen Gribbin, the chief of staff at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, reportedly told the TV station Saturday that Wilson should not have been placed in that room.
"I was taken aback by the condition of the room,” Gribbin said. "Mr. Wilson should not have been placed in the room in that condition. ... The room should be cleaned, supplies and trash removed, before the next patient is placed in there. We are beginning our investigation into seeing exactly how this happened."
Christopher Wilson visited the hospital on April 5 for a podiatry appointment in order to address a service-related injury he suffered during one of his two deployments to Iraq.
He was supposed to receive 18 injections in his ankle and surrounding area and was concerned about the sanitary conditions of the room.
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.