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Thirteen California Hospitals Fined for Medical Errors

The California Department of Public Health has fined thirteen hospitals for medical errors that posed a risk to patient safety. As San Diego medical malpractice attorneys, we are concerned that several local hospitals were penalized.

Three of the hospitals, including Kaiser Foundation in San Diego, were cited for leaving a piece of medical equipment in surgical patients. Foreign objects are the most common reason for hospital penalties, followed by medication errors, according to the CA DPH.

In the San Diego Kaiser case, a 2-foot-long surgical towel was left in the abdomen of a 69-year-old woman who developed excessive bleeding during gallbladder surgery. The towel remained in the patient for 16 months until she was readmitted for a suspicious abdominal mass. The hospital was fined $50,000.

UC San Diego Medical Center was also fined by the state for failing to provide “considerate and respectful care” to an emergency room patient. According to the report, she refused to leave the hospital after seeking treatment for a burn on the roof of her mouth. After refusing a cab, the obese patient was carried, face down, by hospital staff to the sidewalk, where she remained. When she was finally rolled over, her lips were blue. Staff performed CPR and she spent a month recovering in the hospital.

Source: Los Angeles Times