Johns Hopkins All Children's failed to tell regulators about needle left in baby's heart

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., broke Florida law by failing to inform regulators about two serious medical errors, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which cited a report from the Agency for Health Care Administration.

AHCA inspectors visited All Children's Hospital in April after a Tampa Bay Times article detailed problems in the hospital's heart surgery unit, including two cases in which surgical needles had been left in children.

In addition to failing to report the medical errors to regulators, the AHCA cited the hospital for failing to tell the parents of one patient about an object left in their child after surgery, according to the report.

Although the copy of the AHCA report released to the Tampa Bay Times was redacted to remove identifying information, details in the report match the medical records of a baby who was discharged from All Children's Hospital with a needle in her heart in 2016. The needle was later removed during an unrelated procedure at another hospital, and the baby's parents settled with All Children's Hospital out of court for $50,000.

In a statement issued May 15 to the Tampa Bay Times, All Children's Hospital said it would comply with the AHCA's findings.

"We may also seek clarification so that we are absolute in our compliance for appropriate reporting," the statement said. "We want to stress to our community that we have been modifying, updating and improving our processes during the two years since these events and we feel confident that these measures will ensure better care and better communications for our patients and families."

In April, All Children's Hospital CEO Jonathan Ellen, MD, told the Tampa Bay Times the hospital's Heart Institute had experienced "challenges." In response to these issues, Dr. Ellen said the institute cut its number of operations and stopped performing some complicated surgeries.

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