Hospital Mistakes Uncovered by State Government

Hospital Mistakes

In the last week both the Register and Los Angeles Times have published a story about 6 hospitals being fined by the State Department of Public Health for serious violations. Three of those six were in Orange County!  Namely Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, and South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach.

Hoag and Choc drew the largest fines levied by the State Department of Health Services, $ 25,000 each. Now if you are a Libertarian you are probably chafing by now in this post over the authoritarian government meddling in these hospitals’ affairs by our State government. Perhaps Libertarians should read no further in this post.

For the rest of us though we may be fortunate to read from these stories of the failures of some of our temples of health care. Most revealing is the detail provided in these stories about CHOC’s violation. Seems that a drain tube, called a shunt, was installed in the head of a child to drain fluid that was accumulating around the brain. I can tell you that the installation of such a drain tube is not uncommon, and some people lead pretty normal lives for years with such a device installed.

However Dr. Maria Minon of CHOC is quoted as acknowledging that their staff failed to keep the drain tube functioning in the case of one child, leading to a buildup of fluid and severe brain injury.  In the same story Dr. Richard Afable of Hoag acknowledged their mistake of not monitoring a patient who was disconnected from a Cardiac monitor for 34 minutes and the patient flat lined with no one noticing.

Undoubtedly these hospitals can attest to thousands of patients who have received good, life-saving care. They often market such information in their community fund raising efforts. Like most of us mistakes are acknowledged but never mentioned again. Of course, were it not for the heavy hand of government – in this case the State Department of Health Services – no one outside these temples of health care would ever know.  Maybe not even the victims.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.