California SNF fined $100k over safety violations that led to patient's death

The State of California has fined Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility in San Francisco, $100,000 after an investigation by the California Department of Public Health found safety violations that were a proximate cause of a patient's death.

The safety violations occurred Nov. 26, 2014. According to the investigation report, a nurse assistant failed to lock both wheels of a patient's wheelchair while on an outing to a movie theater and then left the patient unattended. The wheelchair rolled off the curb and the patient landed face-first on the ground. The patient, who had dementia and other chronic conditions, suffered severe injuries, including a face laceration, hip fractures and internal head bleeding, and died Dec. 10, 2014.

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According to the California Department of Public Health, $100,000 is the maximum fine state regulators can impose under state law.

Regarding the incident, Mivic Hirose, RN, executive administrator of Laguna Honda, told the San Francisco Chronicle, "We made immediate changes to how our outings are conducted, and there have been no accidents since. We are confident that our outings are now safe."

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