CMS cites Houston hospital over C-section death

A patient at Houston-based Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital died after giving birth by cesarean section this September, the sixth preventable death in Houston hospitals this year, according to a CMS report cited by the Houston Chronicle.

CMS issued the 405-page report Nov. 8  regarding safety deficiencies at Houston-based Harris Health System, which runs LBJ and Ben Taub Hospital. The report found the C-section patient died after her heart rate increased and never dropped. Her physicians never consulted other medical staff about the increased heart rate, and, despite having a history of high blood pressure, there was no record of the patient's blood pressure or temperature ever being taken.

In the report, LBJ's chief of obstetrics and gynecology acknowledged these shortcomings, saying the hospital needs to create a plan to better address obstetric patients' needs. 

In total, CMS found safety deficiencies in five areas that could put Harris Health patients in "immediate jeopardy." 

The health system submitted a full plan of correction to CMS Nov. 18. In a statement cited by the Houston Chronicle, Harris Health officials said they are confident that CMS' follow-up survey — expected within the coming month — will find that the corrective actions remedy the deficiencies and meet all agency standards. CMS removed the immediate jeopardy designation after Harris Health made several initial corrections.

This is the sixth time CMS has cited a Houston hospital for a preventable death this year, with other deaths occurring at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Ben Taub Hospital, a sister institution of LBJ.

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