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Medical malpractice: 4 hospitals fined for substandard care

Medical patients depend on hospitals and staff for proper care when they are in vulnerable and precarious states of health. If hospitals fall short, mistakes lead to more serious or even fatal injuries and, typically, medical malpractice lawsuits. A hospital should be the bastion of safety that injured people can turn to for trusted help. When those same injured people are neglected or improperly cared for, the consequences can be life-changing. Recent events in California demonstrate the upsetting consequences of neglectful medical care. 

Four Bay Area hospitals were recently fined nearly half a million dollars for improper care. Six fines were issued by the California Department of Health in total. Napa's Queen of the Valley Medical Center received three fines totaling $225,000. One patient slipped into a persistent vegetative state as a result of nursing staff's failure to perform ongoing assessments of the person's condition. Another patient died as a result of the nursing staff's failure to provide heart and breathing monitoring as well as breathing assistance. 

Improperly used dialysis equipment and an improperly used tracheotomy tube resulted in two patients suffering the effects of medical malpractice at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco. Two other California hospitals received fines for incidents that led to injuries and death. All four hospitals have submitted plans to the state to improve the quality of care provided to patients in order to prevent such grave incidents in the future. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but for injured patients, and the surviving families of deceased ones, the prevention may come too late. Families who have experienced the trauma of losing a loved one to medical malpractice may wish to seek the aid of an attorney when seeking judgments against large institutions such as major hospitals. Grieving families, and seriously injured patients, may require the resources and know how of an experienced litigator in similar situations. 

Source: CBS SF Bay Area, "4 Bay Area Hospitals Fined Nearly $500,000 For Improper Care", April 21, 2017

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