Hospitals Fined for Medication Errors, Deaths

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, March 21, 2008

The California Department of Public Health reports show three infants at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles got an overdose of the blood thinner Heparin. At Sacramento’s Sierra Vista Hospital a psychiatric patient got 10 times the usual dose of the wrong medicine. And, a patient in Chico and a patient in Fremont died from medication errors.

Kathleen Billingsley is with the California Department of Public Health. She says the state is now issuing $25,000 fines for violations.

Billingsley: “There was a not a monetary fee associated with this prior to January 1 of 2007.”

Beyond medication errors, the state cited Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego for physical and verbal abuse of a patient. Kindred Hospital in Modesto had three violations. One was for a patient who died after getting trapped in the hospital bed rails.