Los Angles, California (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) – Administering too much medication resulting in a patient’s death, leaving medical instruments inside patients and even failing to buckle a patient into his wheelchair resulting in a fall and death; each of these circumstances were caused by negligent or careless hospital staff in the past few months. A recent article in the Los Angles Times reports that the state of California fined eighteen of its southern hospitals for health care violations concerning a state law that went into effect last year. The law authorizes the agency to fine them for risks posed to patients in serious conditions.
The following hospitals were fined $25,000 for each incident that “has caused, or was likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients.” The agency has issued 61 such penalties to 42 hospitals since the state law was enacted last year.
The hospitals and their violations:
* Anaheim General Hospital, for failing to ensure that medical devices were electrically safe and functioning within manufacturer’s guidelines, for not preventing access to dangerous items, for failing to protect patients from extreme environmental temperatures and for failing to maintain the pharmacy’s refrigerated temperatures where medications are kept.
* Coastal Communities Hospital in Santa Ana, for administering an excessive dose of medication that resulted in a patient’s death.
* Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, for failing to remove a surgical sponge in a patient after surgery, requiring the patient to undergo a second surgery to remove it.
* Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, for leaving a surgical instrument in a patient after surgery, requiring the patient to undergo a second surgery to remove it.
* Los Alamitos Medical Center, for failing to use a seat belt while a patient was in a wheelchair. The patient fell and died because of the fall.
* Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, for failing to investigate a sexual abuse allegation.
* Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, for failing to follow policies and procedures for a patient with critically low laboratory test results, resulting in the patient’s death; and for failing to ensure that licensed staff were competent and trained to insert intravenous catheters, causing a patient to die.
* Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, for failing to activate a stationary ventilator during a transfer of the patient from a transport ventilator, resulting in the patient’s death.
* Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Riverside, for failing to prescribe, administer and monitor medication in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications on safe use of medication.
* Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Fresno, for failing to ensure pediatric patient safety by not establishing safe and effective systems to accurately and quickly determine pediatric doses of emergency medications.
* Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, for failing to accurately label tissue specimens, leading to unnecessary surgery for one patient and resulting in a delayed treatment of another; and for not providing screening examinations and stabilizing medical care in a timely manner for two patients in the emergency room.
* Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, for failing to provide adequate nursing staffing for a suicide watch and for failing to meet the needs of a patient.
* Loma Linda University Medical Center, for administering a potentially fatal overdose of a medication to a patient.
* Palomar Pomerado Health System in Poway, for failing to maintain its anesthesia equipment in proper functioning order, resulting in three patients’ experiencing “surgical awareness” during surgical procedures.
* Promise Hospital of San Diego for allowing an unlicensed staff member to function as a licensed nurse.
* St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno, for not having a system to identify, report, investigate and control surgical site infections for cardiopulmonary surgeries.
* San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning, for failing to have the correct drugs for treatment of emergencies in the emergency room, the post-anesthesia care unit, surgery and radiology areas; for failing to have the appropriate equipment and supplies to treat pediatric patients in the emergency room.
Also, for failing to supply emergency “crash” carts with necessary drugs to treat life-threatening cardiac situations, resulting in potential death for patients in emergency cardiac situations.
* Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, for failing to ensure patient safety in the surgical department when a patient fell off an operating table during surgery.
Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.