Report: 35-year-old veteran died from mixed drug toxicity

Tomah VA Medical Center under new leadership

A Marine veteran died because of failures at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

The VAeteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General released its report on the death of 35-year-old Jason Simcakoski.

Rep. Ron Kind’s office released a statement confirming the report was about Jason Simcakoski who died at the facility last summer. The medical examiner concluded Simcakoski died from a mixed drug toxicity.

The new report said the OIG’s outside expert came to the same conclusion.
The OIG’s investigation also found that psychiatrists at the Tomah VA Medical Center prescribed the drugs which, when combined, likely led to Simcokoski’s death.

And that neither of the two psychiatrists who ordered a certain, potentially hazardous drug discussed the risks of incorrect use of that drug with the patient.

And that when Simcakoski was found unresponsive, there were delays in calling for help. The OIG investigation also shows certain medications used to reverse drug overdoses were not available on the unit.

The Tomah VA released a statement saying, in part, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic, avoidable death of this Veteran and are committed to learning from this event and making improvements in the care we provide to our Veterans.”

The OIG also included several recommendations in its new report. Representatives of the Tomah VA said steps have been taken to address those recommendations.