13 California hospitals face fines for injuries and deaths

Legal news for California medical malpractice attorneys. California hospitals were fined for medical errors that led to injuries or deaths.

California medical malpractice lawyer alerts- Thirteen hospitals were fined for errors that caused injuries or death.

Los Angeles, CA—Thirteen California hospitals have been fined by California Department of Public Heath officials for cases in which medical errors killed or seriously injured patients. In a report released on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, the 13 hospitals are facing an upwards of $100,000 in fines, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

• The Los Angeles Community Hospital in Norwalk received a fine of $50,000 after the hospital was involved with the death of a patient in May. The patient was supposed to be restrained and supervised, but was left alone instead. He repeatedly pulled out his tracheotomy tube, and was later found unresponsive in his hospital bed.
• A $50,000 fine was issued to California Hospital Medical Center after an emergency room medical resident misdiagnosed a woman with an ectopic pregnancy in March. The woman was not actually pregnant, and the doctors gave her chemotherapy drugs to treat her misdiagnosis, which instead suppressed her immune system and created mouth, throat and skin sores. The hospital has since restricted access to the drug and more closely monitors how the drug is dispensed to patients.
• Marina del Rey Hospital was fined $25,000 after a March 2007 incident resulted in a patient passing out and having to be placed on a ventilator. The intensive care nurses reportedly failed to monitor a woman’s oxygen levels, which caused her to pass out.
• St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton was fined after a patient died of a heart attack in the emergency room in February. The nurses failed to notice that the patients heart monitor had disconnected.
• Western Medical Center in Santa Ana received a second fine last year after a medical staff member left a surgical sponge inside a patient in March. She got sick as a result of the sponge, and had to receive a second operation.
• Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach was fined after investigators discovered a patient on a metal gurney was sucked in by an MRI machine’s magnetic force. The January 2009 incident fractured her leg and foot. This was reportedly the hospital’s third penalty in the last two years.
• John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio received four fines, which totaled $100,000 after failing to monitor patients and medication in 2008.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California medical malpractice lawyers.