California News

CA Hospital Investigated in Accidental Death

In a report released this past Wednesday, the California Department of Health Services said that Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center waited too long to report the accidental death of one of its patients.  The delay in reporting the man’s death, which occurred when he was given an overdose of medication at the hospital, could have prevented health officials from performing a thorough investigation into the incident.  In addition, the delay in reporting the error looks suspicious and could have prevented other similar accidents from occurring as well.

California state law says that medical facilities must report accidental deaths as soon as possible and the DOH report said that Kaiser failed to do so in this case.

The unidentified patient was admitted to the ER on December 24 of 2004, complaining of stroke-like symptoms.  A nurse gave him an overdose of TPA, or Tissue Plasminogen Activator, a naturally occurring substance in the blood that can dissolve blot clots.  The patient died that day.

Kaiser did not report the incident until January 20, 2005.

A 12-year-old girl died at the same hospital July 26 after she was given an overdose of epinephrine in order to raise her low blood pressure.

In September another patient in Kaiser’s Santa Teresa Medical Center in San Jose died after getting another patient’s medication.

Medical mistakes and errors are on the rise and account for one of the top ten reasons for death in the US.

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