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Sharp Memorial Fined $100K After Patient Falls From Surgical Table

Sharp Memorial Hospital was one of eight hospitals statewide fined by the California Department of Public Health for putting patients at risk of injury or death.

A 73-year-old woman fell off a surgical table at the hospital while a doctor was inserting a catheter into her arm in 2012, according to the health department report. The woman's fall fractured her back.

The hospital was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure the health and safety of the patient. This is the hospital’s fifth administrative penalty.


In 2013, the hospital was fined $100,000 for removing the wrong kidney from a man, according to another California Department of Public Health report.

Nine other penalties were issued to seven other hospitals by the California Department of Public Health. The fines ranged from $50,000 to $100,000.

In a statement, a Sharp Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said the hospital "regrets that our patient sustained injury during an interventional radiology (IR) procedure."

"We are satisfied that the new processes and training we put into place in 2012 as a result of this incident have yielded zero IR patient falls," the statement said. "Key elements of our comprehensive plan, which was approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), included the purchase of additional security straps to accommodate larger patients in the IR suite, a new process to determine where to best accommodate patients with a high body mass index (BMI) for IR procedures (i.e., in the IR suite versus an operating room with special equipment) and the use of security straps and additional safety protocols for all patients undergoing procedures in the IR setting, regardless of BMI."