Hospital Fined $100,000 for Patient Death

Desert Regional Medical Center has been fined $100,000 for a 2014 patient death. According to the state’s Department of Public Health, a nurse improperly removed a medical tube from a patient, causing air to enter the patient’s bloodstream. The patient died six days later after suffering an irreversible brain injury.

The coroner ruled the death an accident. However, the Health Department confirmed the injury was related to the improper removal of the patient’s central venous catheter. The proper procedure for removing a central line is to remove it with the patient lying down with their head as low as possible. Instead, this nurse removed it while the patient was sitting upright in a chair. The chances of air entering the bloodstream are much higher if a patient is upright.

The hospital says they self-reported the incident and followed a state-approved plan of correction. Within two months of the death, the hospital re-educated all nurses on proper policies for CVC removal. They also instituted new competency checks.

This is not the first time Desert Regional has been fined for a dangerous mistake. In 2014, they were fined $100,000 for leaving a sponge inside a woman who was having a Caesarian section. That fine was reduced after the hospital appealed the judgment.

Desert Regional Sued for Patient Death

Earlier this year, the hospital settled a lawsuit filed by a widow claiming wrongful death and medical negligence after her husband died at Desert Regional. The dates of his admittance and death correlate with the Health Department’s report, but attorneys on the case did not comment on whether it is the same incident.

“Patients entering a hospital should not have to worry that staff might hurt them by failing to follow proper procedure,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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