Bay Area Hospitals Face Penalties for Near-Fatal Mistakes

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medical mistakes

(AP)

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CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Four Bay Area hospitals were notified Thursday that they are facing $50,000 each in penalties from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The hospitals have 10 days to appeal the fines that stem from incidents of medical error and procedural mistakes. The hospitals are among a dozen in the state facing penalties from the CDPH and are now required to submit a plan of correction.

The Bay Area hospitals involved are Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, and Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

According to the acting Deputy Director of the Center for Health Care Quality, Pam Dickfoss, the infractions are serious and affect patients’ safety.

“The hospitals took them very serious and took swift action,” said Dickfoss.

Documents from the Department of Public Health show that at Kaiser San Francisco a fetal scalp electrode was left in a patient after a C-section. At Mills, a surgical sponge was left in a patient’s right eye. In both instances each patient required additional surgery.

At Dominican in Santa Cruz a patient took excessive chemo medication, and at the Contra Costa Regional Medical center a medication error resulted in seizures and cardiac arrest.

Dickfoss gave the following statement to ensure the public something will be done so this is less likely to happen in the future.

“Information on the incidents that led to these penalties will be used to determine how these violations or deficiencies can be decreased and eliminated over time.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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