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San Diego Hospitals Fined For Putting Patients At Risk

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Aired 5/20/10

State regulators have penalized four San Diego-area hospitals for incidents that put patients' lives at risk. Scripps Green Hospital was fined a total of $125,000 for two separate events.

State regulators have penalized four San Diego-area hospitals for incidents that put patients' lives at risk. Scripps Green Hospital was fined a total of $125,000 for two separate events.

In one case, a doctor inserted the wrong end of a catheter drain into a patient's spinal cord.

In another incident, hospital staff didn't know that a special instrument used in hip surgeries had to be taken apart before cleaning.

State regulators say 11 patients were potentially exposed to disease.

Dr. Michael Capozza, Scripps Green's medical director of surgical services, disagrees.

"These items were sterilized; they just weren't properly cleaned. We did do our due diligence with each patient to evaluate the risk of transmission of any blood-borne pathogen," said Capozza.

The state also fined Rady Children's Hospital, Tri-Center Medical Center and Pomerado Hospital for putting patients at risk.

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