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Brain Surgery Error, Enclosed Sponge Net $50K Fines

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 12:11pm

The California Department of Public Health fined three San Diego area hospitals for making mistakes that could cause “death or serious injury.&rdquo The implicated hospitals are Grossmont Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital and UCSD Medical Center.

According to the Union Tribune, Grossmont received a $50,000 fine for marking the wrong side of the head of a 93-year-old man who was undergoing brain surgery. Before the mistake was realized, part of the man's skull had been removed and the brain exposed. The mistake was corrected during surgery, and the surgery completed without further incident.

Sharp Memorial Hospital was also fined $50,000 when a sponge was left inside the body of a 69-year-old woman who underwent heart surgery. UCSD Medical Center was also fined for failing to follow surgical procedures, resulting in a second surgery on a patient to remove a foreign object. The UCSD surgery was performed by a first-year intern.

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