SEMINOLE, FLThe body of a veteran was left in a shower at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Florida for nearly 9 hours. An internal investigation was launched at the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, where it was discovered that hospital staff did not follow protocol for a body to be picked up and taken to the morgue and failed proper post-mortem care.

The investigative report indicated that leaving the body unattended for so long increased the chance of decomposition.

It was determined that once the veteran, who has remained anonymous passed, hospice staff sent a request for a staff member known as the “transporter,” who moves the body to the morgue. The transporter told hospice to follow hospital procedures and notify dispatchers first. No further request was sent, and the body was never picked up.

The veteran’s body was moved to a hallway and later to a shower room and left unattended in the shower for over nine hours.

Jason Dangel, a hospital spokesman, said hospital officials view the incident as unacceptable and implementing changes to ensure it never happens again. While investigating, it was revealed that a 24-hour nursing report that would show if the death was reported properly was failed to be checked by staff.

A nursing organizational chart that had not been updated halted the determination of who was in charge at the time. Retraining for the staff has been ordered by the hospital’s Administrative Investigation Board.