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SoCal hospitals fined $25K for mistakes

September 4, 2009 7:33:24 AM PDT
Several Southern California hospitals have been fined by the state Department of Public Health for violations that caused injuries and even death in some patients. Six hospitals in Southern California are being penalized, fined $25,000 for mistakes and lapses in care that caused serious injury to patients.

L.A. County- USC Medical Center has been cited for improper surgical procedures. A patient had to undergo a second surgery after surgical sponges or towels were not removed during the first operation.

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton was fined for a similar violation.

In each case, the sponges and towels were detected in follow-up exams or when patients complained of complications.

Children's Hospital of Orange County was cited because of an oversight by the nursing staff following a neurological procedure. As a result, a child ended up with a severe brain injury.

At Hoag Memorial Presbyterian in Newport Beach, a patient died after not being monitored continuously after being taken off a cardiac monitor for 34 minutes.

Southwest Healthcare Systems in Murrieta and South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach were also on the list of hospitals that were fined.

Violations that jeopardize patient health will cost hospitals even more from now on. A new law raises the fines to $50,000 for the first violation.

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