Last week, the Department of Public Health in California gave 10 hospitals fines that totaled $700,000 for a number of safety issues, as well as medical errors that caused patient deaths in some patients.
Some hospitals were found to be responsible for patient harm in areas such as opioid overdoses, intubation mistakes and even surgeons leaving a part of a towel in the stomach of a patient.
One hospital in Woodland Hills was fined $50,000 after a patient died from 20 doses of three different painkillers in three hours by family members who were using a beside pain management system. The regulators stated that the hospital should have had better controls to make sure the system would not dispense an overdose of drugs.
Another hospital was given a $50,000 a fine because a doctor inserted a feeding tube into the lung of a pneumonia patient, and started to fluid feed the patient.
These cases in California confirm our experiences as medical error personal injury attorneys in Virginia. Preventable medical errors actually kill enough people to fill four commercial jets every week. Surgeons often operate on the incorrect body part as many as 40 times per week. And 25% of all patients in the hospital suffer harm due to a preventable medical error.
All of us need to hold doctors and hospitals to higher standards so that we can reduce the number of deadly medical errors in the country.