Hospital allows patient to eat herself to death, and other tales from new California report


One hospital was fined because it had shower knobs that allowed a teenage girl to hang herself.

Another got into hot water after doctors left a piece of tubing inside a heart-surgery patient.

And a third was cited for basically allowing a patient to eat herself to death.

They were among the 14 facilities, four of them in the Bay Area, that were fined by the California Department of Public Health this week following investigations that revealed their employees were somehow responsible for a patient’s serious injury or death.

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The incidents, which took place from 2012 to 2016, resulted in a combined $1.1 million in fines levied against the hospitals. Here are some of the more egregious examples of how the hospitals screwed up:

Aurora Vista Del Mar, Ventura

Investigators say the hospital failed to provide a safe environment for patients after a suicidal 17-year-old girl hanged herself, using bed linen tied to a knob in the shower. Citing Health and Safety Code Section 1280.3 (g), the report accuses the facility of creating “immediate jeopardy,” which is defined as “a situation in which the licensee’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of licensure has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury or death to the patient.” Running a hospital with shower knobs that can be used to assist in a suicide creates such a jeopardy.

The penalty: $75,000

Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City

In a word, this is what Sequoia was fined for: Oophorectomy

Pronounced oh-of-uh-REK-tuh-me, it means “surgical removal of the ovaries,” and investigators say the facility’s doctors did just that, which would have been fine if that’s what …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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