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2 Local Hospitals Fined For Dangerous Conditions

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Aired 9/24/09

The state has fined two hospitals in San Diego County for conditions that put patients at risk of serious injury or death. Sharp Chula Vista and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside were each penalized $25,000.

— The state has fined two hospitals in San Diego County for conditions that put patients at risk of serious injury or death. Sharp Chula Vista and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside were each penalized $25,000.

The case at Sharp Chula Vista Hospital involved a patient who had heart bypass surgery last December. A small surgical clamp was missing when staff did a post-surgical count.

Ten days after the surgery, the patient had to undergo another operation to remove the clamp from his chest cavity.

The hospital's chief medical officer, Dr. Ben Hourani, says proper procedures were followed.

"There are hundreds of objects involved here when you're counting, and it's not common, but we do everything we can when we have a discrepancy in the count," Dr. Hourani says.

The incident at Tri-City Medical Center involved a 91-year-old woman who didn't have proper restraints on her hospital bed. She fell out of bed, and died after surgery.

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