SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The California Department of Public Health announced on Friday that three Bay Area hospitals have been fined and penalized for making serious errors.  Two of them are in San Francisco.  The department said the mistakes put patients at risk.

UCSF Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center and Petaluma Valley Hospital were all fined for leaving items, including a retractor blade, a drill bit and a surgical sponge inside patients’ bodies after surgery.

CPMC received two of those violations.

UCSF was also penalized for over medicating a preterm baby by giving it ten times the proper blood-thinner medication dose.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The state department of public health’s Pam Dickfoss said 14 penalties were handed out statewide.

“Nine were specific to the retention of a foreign object. Two involved patient care and safety issues and three were the result of medication errors,” said Dickfoss.

$800,000 has been approved in this year’s budget to reduce the retention of foreign objects after surgery.

The department’s Kathleen Billingsley said sharing effective processes could help and that information implemented by one hospital could be helpful and used by another.

A state law giving the public health department power to hand out the penalties was passed in 2007.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Jeff says:

    about time they started fining shoddy hospitals.

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