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Immediate Jeopardy Fines for 12 California Hospitals

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 21, 2012

10. At Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley, Orange County, a C-section patient had to undergo a second surgery to remove a retained sponge, made more complicated because the patient developed an abscess and bowel perforation, necessitating an eight-day hospitalization.

The penalty is $50,000. This is the hospital's first penalty.

11. At Sutter Coast Hospital, Crescent City, Del Norte County, a patient admitted for removal of a basal cell carcinoma on her forehead received second-degree burns on the face, chest, and an ear after the oxygen mask on her face caught fire when the doctor's cautery device came too close.

The patient "stated that her lips were all scarred after the incident and that two of the scars were permanent," investigators said. The incident required two days in the intensive care unit, and the patient "now has trouble with her mouth, stated that she looked like a fish, and it was hard to put her dentures in the right way."

The penalty is $10,000, reduced under a provision of state law that allows lower penalties for small, rural hospitals.

This is the hospital's first penalty.

12. At UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco County, the hospital team failed to make sure that a patient did not have an allergy to antibiotics before giving her amoxicillin. Her severe anaphylactic reaction required stabilization in the intensive care unit on a ventilator and acute hemodialysis, and then on an inpatient unit for 21 days.

Formerly independent and able to bathe, ambulate, and dress herself on her own, the woman subsequently was discharged to a skilled nursing facility, investigators wrote.

The penalty is $75,000. This is the hospital's sixth penalty.

Previous HealthLeaders Media articles about California Immediate Jeopardy fines:


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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