8 California hospitals fined for medical errors

The California Department of Public Health penalized eight hospitals in the state for deficiencies that caused or were likely to cause serious patient harm, with fines totaling $483,650.

The following is a breakdown of penalized hospitals and the problems that caused the penalty.

1. Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno was fined $86,625 because the hospital "failed to develop and implement operating room…policy and procedure" of OR counts after surgery to prevent retained foreign objects and a patient suffered. This was the fourth time the hospital put patients in immediate jeopardy and was penalized.

2. Kaiser Foundation Hospital-Fontana (Calif.) was fined $75,000 after a patient fell from a scan table and subsequently died. It was its second immediate jeopardy penalty.

3. Kaiser Foundation Hospital-Santa Rosa (Calif.) was fined $50,000 for its first immediate jeopardy penalty after a patient suffered a retained foreign object after surgery.

4. San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, Calif., was fined $75,000 after a medication error caused a patient death. This was the hospital's second time in immediate jeopardy.

5. Sonoma (Calif.) Valley Hospital was fined $50,000 after a patient suffered a retained foreign object.

6. Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton was fined $50,000 in its first immediate jeopardy penalty after surgery was performed on the wrong body part of a patient.

7. Ventura (Calif.) Country Medical Center was fined $50,000 in its third immediate jeopardy penalty after the hospital did not remove objects of harm from a psychiatric patient who subsequently committed suicide in the hospital.

8. Vibra Hospital of San Diego was fined $47,025 after staff failed to respond to a patient's ventilator alarm.

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