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Pharmacy at San Diego Hospital Posed Infection Risk

A pharmacy at a San Diego area hospital put patients at risk for infection, according to a new report. California health inspectors uncovered serious lapses in infection control at the compounding pharmacy lab at Paradise Valley Hospital in National City.

The report is concerning. As highlighted in the 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 patients, compounding medications requires sterile conditions for safety and quality.

According to state investigators, they found “dust, stains and foreign material” in the hospital’s compounding pharmacy where thousands of intravenous medications were prepared over eight months. The failures resulted in 7,301 patients being exposed to preventable infections from 4,322 contaminated medications.

In addition, the report states that Paradise Valley Hospital was aware that samples taken from workers’ gloved fingertips had tested positive for bacterial growth. Nonetheless, the hospital failed to take corrective action, and the pharmacy staff continued to compound IVs.

As detailed by California Healthline, the sterilization issues continued in other parts of the hospital. As detailed in the report, the hospital “failed to ensure that the special care nursery, operating room and the emergency department were maintained to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness, safety and quality.”

In addition to the infection control issues, the investigators also found that duplicate and/or incomplete medication orders, which had the potential to increase the risk of a medical error or adverse reaction, were not clarified by nurses. The hospital also failed to verify that medication orders with the same pain scale were reviewed for therapeutic duplication, which had the potential to place patients at risk for overdose on narcotic pain medications.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to contaminated medication or other serious medical mistake, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, please contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.