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2 Local Hospitals Fined for Serious Medical Errors

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Aired 5/20/09

The state department of health has fined two hospitals in San Diego for mistakes that put patients' lives at risk. Scripps Mercy Hospital and UCSD Medical Center were each penalized $25,000.

— The state department of health has fined two hospitals in San Diego for mistakes that put patients' lives at risk. Scripps Mercy Hospital and UCSD Medical Center were each penalized $25,000.

Scripps Mercy Hospital was fined for using faulty equipment.

Medical staff put a trauma patient on a transport ventilator while taking him for an MRI exam. The ventilator had two knobs missing, and wasn't working properly. Staff knew it, but used the machine anyway.

Dr. Davis Craycroft is Scripps Mercy's director of medical affairs.

"They did not recognize, obviously, the potential for harm, and why they would take one, that you know, was not fully operational and functional, I can't explain," says Craycroft.

UCSD was penalized for leaving a sponge inside a surgical patient. Staff failed to x-ray the patient when the surgery was completed.

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