Pennsylvania hospital cited over 2nd patient death in 2 months

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Health officials cited WellSpan York (Pa.) Hospital over a patient's death in October 2019, which represents the second such citation the hospital received over a two-month period last year, according to a state report cited by the York Dispatch.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health investigated the most recent patient death and determined that hospital employees "failed to maintain a safe environment for the patient's condition," according to the report.  

Records show the patient's oxygen levels and heart rate rapidly dropped while hospitalized at York Hospital. However, employees failed to notify members of the patient's care team about the vital-sign changes, the report found. The patient died about 30 minutes after his or her vitals fell on Oct. 17, 2019, reports CBS 21 News.

WellSpan conducted an internal review of the incident and determined that a "communication issue regarding vital sign monitoring had occurred" involving the patient, who was "seriously ill and had complex medical conditions," the health system said in a statement cited by CBS 21 News.

York Hospital has since implemented new protocols and reporting processes for patients in serious condition to prevent a similar situation from occurring. The state health department has approved a plan of correction submitted by WellSpan and does not intend to impose any additional sanctions or fines.

The death occurred just two months after a different patient died in York Hospital's emergency department after being left unattended for more than an hour.

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