California Dept. of Public Health fined 9 hospitals for medical mistakes

California Dept. of Public Health fined 9 hospitals for medical mistakes


05/25/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Sacramento, CA—Various medical errors prompted officials from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to fine a total of nine hospitals throughout the state. A report was released on Thursday, May 20, 2010, disclosing some of the medical mistakes and their accompanying fines. These citations were issued with regard to injuries and fatalities caused by several medical blunders, as reported by the LA Times.

According to information provided, CDPH authorities will require hospital officials to “submit plans to correct the problems.” Hospital representatives may appeal the proposed fines.

The following hospitals were cited and fined (explanations and/or incident reports were not provided for every case):

1. Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center

• Location: Mission Viejo

• Violation: A baby was accidentally administered morphine, which was intended for the mother. The infant consequently “exhibited respiratory depression, and required incubation”. The child was treated and recovered from the incident.

• Proposed penalties: $50,000

• Comment: “Consistent with our commitment to our patients, we have conducted a process review and provided ongoing education and training for our patient care teams with regard to administering medications,” hospital officials noted in a statement.

2. Hi-Desert Medical Center

• Location: Joshua Tree

• Violation: A 4-four-old female patient suffered burns on her back due to cauterizing equipment used during a tonsillectomy.

• Proposed penalties: $50,000

• Comment: “We took it as an important leaning opportunity and conducted a thorough review of the circumstances… We redoubled our staff training and competencies,” said Lionel Chadwick, the hospital’s chief executive.

3. Parkview Community Hospital

• Location: Riverside

• Violation: A surgeon with “hospital privileges” removed the wrong kidney from a patient with a kidney tumor. The victim, 72-year-old Francisco Torres, was a Spanish-speaking patient who was not provided an interpreter prior to consenting to the procedure. As a result of the botched surgery, Torres lost his functional kidney and was placed on dialysis. Torres subsequently sued the hospital for medical malpractice.

• Proposed penalties: $50,000

• Comment: None provided.

4. Pomerado Hospital

• Location: Poway

• Violation: Unknown

• Proposed penalties: Unknown.

• Comment: None provided.

5. Scripps Green Hospital

• Location: La Jolla

6. Rady Children’s Hospital

• Location: San Diego

7. Tri-City Medical Center

• Location: Oceanside

8. Alameda County Medical Center

• Location: Oakland

9. Marin General Hospital

• Location: Greenbrae

Deputy director of the department’s Center for Health Quality Care, Kathleen Billingsley, noted the state of California has issued a total of 156 fines since the law required them to begin doing so in 2007. While 108 hospitals were fined $4.8 million, the state has only collected about $3 million. Hospital officials appealed 41 of the fines.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for California Medical Malpractice Lawyers.

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