A review into the medical care that was provided to the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) is being conducted by the National Naval Medical Center, according to a report on the Navy Times. Rep. Murtha passed away on February 8; he underwent a gallbladder surgery on January 28.
According to Navy spokesman Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, such a review is standard procedure and is routinely conducted “when a patient dies at the facility or if there is an adverse event during that care”. The review is described as an “in-depth standardized quality assurance review” into the medical care the representative received.
Murtha is known for being supportive of the troops and the defense industry in the course of his career, which spanned 36 years. He was the first combat veteran to serve in Congress, and he was said to have brought billions to his district in his capacity as Chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
The Navy Times described the review procedure as follows: “a multi-level process that includes a mortality and morbidity conference, quality assurance investigation by an uninvolved subject matter expert, review by multi-disciplinary patient safety committee, and consultations with Navy medicine and outside experts as required.” There is no information yet regarding how long the review will last.
Rep. Robert Brady, a close friend of Murtha’s, revealed to the Navy Times that the representative may have died due to “an inadvertent cut to his intestine during laparoscopic surgery”. Murtha died at the Virginia Medical Center in Arlington, Virginia, where he was hospitalized two days after his surgery. His death was ruled by the Virginia Medical Center as due to “major complications from surgery” performed in the previous hospital.