OAKLAND (KCBS) – A report by the state Department of Public Health has found that Children’s Hospital Oakland complied with medical regulatory standards in the handling of Jahi McMath, a teenage girl who was declared brain-dead after undergoing tonsil surgery and other procedures in December.
The report was obtained by the Bay Area News Group through a public records request. It found that Children’s Hospital was in compliance with “the Medicare Conditions of Participation.” Hospitals must follow certain federal standards to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Investigators reviewed Jahi’s case, along with 28 others chosen at random from the same time period. The report found one area of deficiency in how the facility handled the patients’ medical records, which were not always entered into an electronic database before surgery, but it’s unclear if Jahi’s case was one of those mishandled.
The state also found a deficiency in the hospital’s operating room policies, finding that in some cases, a preoperative checklist was not completed before surgery.
State investigators conducted the probe from January 7-10, interviewing doctors, nurses, managers, and reviewing medical records and said it was initiated after a complaint was lodged over how the hospital handled Jahi’s case.
The 13-year-old McMath was admitted to Children’s Hospital Oakland on December 9, 2013, for tonsil surgery and two other procedures to treat her sleep apnea. But hours after her surgery, she began bleeding profusely and suffered a heart attack, and was declared brain-dead a short time later.
Her family fought to keep her on a ventilator, and in January, after a prolonged court battle, the teenager was moved from Children’s Hospital Oakland to an undisclosed Catholic organization, where she is receiving treatment.
Family attorney Christopher Dolan dismissed the report, telling the newspaper that it illustrates another case where “doctors are covering for other doctors.”