CA hospitals fined for failure to report certain medical errors

When Los Angeles residents go in for a surgical procedure with a medical professional, they trust that they are in good hands. However, this is not always the case. California and many other states in the nation have seen a surprising number of preventable medical mistakes, also referred to as adverse medical events that have resulted in serious patient injury or death. Johns Hopkins University found that medical instruments were left inside patients during surgical procedures at least 4,000 times each year. Not to mention all of the other types of medical errors that occur on a daily basis. Medical malpractice kills at least 250,000 people in the country annually and injures millions more.

California health care facilities penalized

At least 85 California hospitals have been penalized by the Department of Health Care Services due to deficiencies in medical error reporting for Medi-Cal patients. That number is expected to grow as the state continues to evaluate cases, according to Southern California Public Radio.

When a hospital reports a preventable medical mistake, the publically funded Medi-Cal program will not reimburse the institution for any medical care that resulted from the error. For example, if a physician left a surgical sponge in a patient following surgery, Medi-Cal would not pay for any subsequent surgeries required to remove the foreign object. This caused many hospitals across the state to underreport medical errors that occurred at their institutions, and those hospitals are now being fined for their negligence.

Types of medical errors

According to a CNN News report, the following are some of the most common types of medical errors:

  • Misdiagnosis or failing to diagnose a patient in a timely manner, leading to further patient injury or death.
  • Doctors performing medical procedures under fake licenses.
  • Doctors performing the wrong surgical procedure on the wrong patient.
  • Surgical injuries caused by doctors who operate on the wrong body part.
  • The spread of infection by health care professionals who do not properly wash their hands.
  • Medical negligence when a healthcare professional performs an improper procedure or makes a technical mistake, leading to serious injury or death.

A simple medical mistake took the life of a young baby who had a chest tube in her vein and a feeding tube in her stomach. The baby's heart was stopped when a medical care giver at the hospital put medication that was intended to go into the baby's feeding tube, into her chest tube. Sadly, the medication stopped the baby's heart.

Finding legal assistance

People, who have suffered physical and emotional pain as a result of medical negligence, may want to consider contacting an attorney to represent their case in court. A personal injury attorney can help you receive compensation for medical expenses, reduced quality of life, lost wages and emotional trauma stemming from the tragic incident.