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Surgery on Wrong Knee, No Meds Lead to Hospital Fines

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Photo by timsamoff via Flickr

Thirteen hospitals statewide were fined on Wednesday by the California Department of Public Health. In total, five from the Los Angeles area were cited: Pomona Valley Medical Center, Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance and Los Angeles County Olive View- UCLA Medical Center in LA County and Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, according to wire reports. Reasons varied from dumb mistakes to deadly ones:

Olive View was fined twice, once for failing to ensure the availability of medications and a second time for failing to develop policies for accurate assessment and diagnostic review. In one case, a patient died in the emergency room while a hospital staff member hurried to a nearby hospital to get medication, which the hospital ran out of before administering the appropriate number of doses, according to the state.

In another case, a patient was diagnosed with a perforated small intestine, the severity of which was repeatedly underestimated until the patient went into cardiac arrest, developed multi-system failure and died, according to Public Health Department reports.

At St. Joseph last March, surgeons performed knee surgery on the wrong knee.