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Ten California Hospitals Fined for Medical Errors

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. In many cases, hospitals place their patients in danger by failing to follow proper policies and procedures.

In California, the Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently penalized ten California hospitals for compliance violations that caused, or were likely to cause, serious injury or death to patients. The hospitals will pay fines totaling $700,000 for the medical errors. In many cases, this was not the first time the facilities were cited by CDPH.

Carmen Balber, executive director for Consumer Watchdog, criticized CDPH for failing to take tougher actions or increase inspections when hospitals repeat medical errors. “I think there is a clear need for legislators to take some initiative to help patients,” she told the Los Angeles Daily News. “Clearly, hospitals are not reporting all the harm that is happening. They are not correcting the problem when the Department of Public Health is finding out.”

Below are some of the most serious medical errors, as detailed by California Healthline:

  • Loma Linda University Medical Center was fined $50,000 for a 2011 incident in which a patient died after a physician misread an X-ray and inserted a feeding tube into the patient’s right lung instead of the stomach;
  • Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas was fined $50,000 for a 2013 incident in which a 78-year-old patient died following colon and hernia surgery when a towel was left inside the patient’s body and caused blood clots;
  • Palomar Medical Center in Escondio was fined $50,000 for a 2013 incident in which a 68-year-old cancer patient died from a skull fracture and brain bleeding after falling out of bed;
  • Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville was fined $50,000 for a 2012 incident in which a patient died after receiving 10 times the prescribed dosage of methadone;
  • Southwest Healthcare System in Murrieta was fined $100,000 for a 2011 incident in which a 47-year-old patient with a history of pulmonary disease, diabetes and hypertension died after being kept in the emergency department, where she did not receive the necessary medication to stabilize her condition;
  • UC-San Diego Medical Center was fined $100,000 for a 2013 incident in which a 58-year-old patient left the hospital campus and was found dead after a panic button that would have warned the nurses was never installed.

If you or someone you love has suffered from medical negligence, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.