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Protective Health Services report cites vet center and staff in man’s death

Leonard Smith (Source Tulsa World) Leonard Smith (Source Tulsa World)

TULSA, OK (KFOR)– A report recently released concerning the death of a U.S. Navy veteran at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina says the center didn’t properly protect him. The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs says four staff members face possible disciplinary action.

According to KFOR, Leonard Smith, 70 of Sapulpa, died at the center in January after choking on a plastic bag lodged in his throat.

The State Health Department’s Protective Health Services report states that the center failed to investigate earlier reports of Smith passing an examination glove in a bowel movement.

The center’s plans to remove trash cans and bags from certain areas and implement safer storage of trash bags, gloves and wipes. They will also discontinue the use of Styrofoam cups and conduct regular hazard checks in the special-needs unit.

Information provided by KFOR.

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