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California State Officials Fine 13 Hospitals For Medical Errors

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According to a report that was made publicly available on Wednesday, California state officials recently fined 13 hospitals for medical errors that either killed or injured patients. Some of the hospitals included in that list were:

  • Los Angeles Community Hospital in Norwalk: state officials fined the hospital $50,000 after hospital staff failed to restrain and supervise a mentally ill patient who continually pulled out his tracheotomy tube. When hospital staff finally went to check on the patient, he was found unresponsive in his bed.
  • California Medical Center: the hospital was also fined $50,000 after misdiagnosing a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. The woman was not pregnant and was given chemotherapy drugs that led to severe throat, skin, and mouth sores.
  • Marina Del Rey Hospital: was fined $25,000 after the intensive care unit nurses failed to monitor a woman with breathing problems and did not give her necessary oxygen. Instead, the woman passed out and was then placed on a ventilator.
  • Hoag Memorial Hospital: was fined $25,000 after intensive care unit nurses failed to secure a patient on a metal gurney. The patient was sucked in by an MRI machine’s magnetic force and fractured her leg and foot.

Please see the official report for the full list of hospitals. Overall, since the fines became part of California law in 2007, the state has issued 134 total. Furthermore, 90 hospitals total were fined for medical errors that either led to patient injuries or deaths.

According to a 1998 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine entitled ,” To Err is Human; Building a Safer Health System", at least 44,000 patient deaths annually are attributable to medical errors. Furthermore, Healthgrades, a hospital-rating agency, conducted a poll in November 2004 and found that 34% of Americans report having experienced a preventable medical error.