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12 Calif. hospitals fined for endangering patients

Sharp Memorial Hospital, the flagship facility of San Diego County's most comprehensive health care delivery system, is seen in this file photo. (Sharp Memorial Hospital)

June 3, 2011 12:12:52 AM PDT
Twelve California hospitals have been fined for mistakes that have killed three patients and threatened the health of others.

State regulators say the errors occurred between 2008 and 2010, and mainly involved medication mistakes or leaving surgical tools inside patients after operations. California Department of Public Health issued a total of $650,000 in fines to the hospitals.

Two local hospitals were fined. At Promise Hospital of East Los Angeles, a patient was given 10 times the proper dose of a drug. At Anaheim Regional Medical Center, a stent was inserted into the wrong side of a patient's body. The fines were the first ever issued to both hospitals.

Other California hospitals fined were Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Pomerado Hospital in Poway, Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, Emanuel Medical Center in Stanislaus County, Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in San Mateo County, Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas and Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

The hospitals have worked with state regulators to change procedures to prevent recurrences. If continuing problems are found, medical centers could lose their state operating licenses or their federal Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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