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Three San Diego Hospitals Slapped With $50,000 Fines

— State regulators have penalized three San Diego County hospitals for actions that put patients in danger. Sharp Grossmont, Sharp Memorial and UCSD Medical Center have been fined $50,000 each.

The incident prompting the fine at Sharp Grossmont happened last January.

A surgical team opened up a patient's skull to operate on the right side of the brain. When the brain was examined, staff couldn't find the bleeding they had intended to stop. They soon realized they were preparing to operate on the wrong side of the brain.

Sharp vice president Nancy Pratt says the surgeon had incorrectly marked the right side, but she says that's no excuse.

"If somebody had said, you know, we have the right side of the head, marked, but this says left, if somebody had raised that, if somebody had noticed that, it would have stopped," Pratt said.

UCSD was fined for leaving a portion of a catheter inside a patient's body. A second operation was required to remove the item.

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