VAOIG Seal U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General
Southeast Field Office
P.O. Box 446
Bay Pines, FL 33744
(727) 319-1214
Friday, November 05, 1999
Former VA Nurse Plead Guilty to Abuse/Neglect of the Elderly
Kenneth R. Atkins, Special Agent in Charge, Southeast Field Office, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, announced today that Angie Laguna plead guilty to charges filed against her earlier this year in Miami, Florida, as part of a plea agreement.

Atkins stated that Laguna was charged with Abuse/Neglect of the Elderly, a violation of section 825.102(1), Florida Statues. The charges resulted from the combined investigative efforts of the Southeast Field Office and the City of Miami Police Department. Laguna, a former VA Medical Center employee left her patient, a disabled veteran in her care, to take a phone call before completing his hookup to a functioning dialysis machine. Laguna left the veteran’s return line draining into a two liter plastic receptacle attached to the outside of the dialysis machine, rather than insuring that his "dialyzed" blood was returned through a vein into his body. Laguna’s failure to hookup this return line resulted in massive blood loss and reduced blood pressure. This was compounded by the fact that Laguna failed to inform medical personnel who responded to render aid to the veteran.

The plea agreement stipulates that Laguna will receive ten years probation, agree to surrender her nursing license for five years, and be retrained/recertified before she can reapply for her nursing license at the end of the five years.

Assistant State Attorney Gary Winston prosecuted the case.