Two San Diego hospitals fined by Dept of Public Health for viola - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Two San Diego hospitals fined by Dept of Public Health for violations

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two hospitals in San Diego were among 13 in California fined by the state Department of Public Health on Friday for a variety of violations.

UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest was fined $75,000 for ejecting a woman who refused to leave the Emergency Department after being treated for a burn to the roof of her mouth in January 2011, according to the agency.

An investigation determined she was having breathing problems while being placed into a taxi cab by security officials, and was then put on a bench in an incorrect manner for her symptoms.

Jacqueline Carr, of UC San Diego Health Sciences, said the CDPH has approved modifications to safety policies at the hospital, which has increased staff training.

"Every issue related to the (emergency department) is 100 percent resolved," Carr said. "We have since expanded our facilities and increased the number of beds to care for a growing number of (emergency) patients."

Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Grantville was fined $50,000 for leaving a towel in the abdomen of a 69-year-old woman who underwent gall bladder surgery in 2009, according to the CDPH. Towels were used because of complications during the procedure, and one was left inside her - requiring a second operation in 2010 to retrieve it.

Kaiser's Mina Nicoletti said the surgeons saved the woman's life when the complications arose.

"While these incidents are very uncommon, we take them seriously," Nicoletti said. "We reported the event immediately, and cooperated fully with CDPH's investigation."

Kaiser made procedural changes to avoid a repeat of the incident, she said.

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