Four area hospitals have received $25,000 fines for serious mistakes that state investigators allege have caused serious injury and death. The mistakes include. (1) the use of a malfunctioning anesthesia machine at Pomerado Hospital, causing patients to be partially awake during surgery, (2) allowing a patient to fall off an operating room table during surgery at Scripps Green Hospital, (3) permitting an individual with a revoked nursing license to treat patients at Promise Hospital’s skilled nursing facility, and (4) the failure to turn on a ventilator at Sharp Grossmont, which caused a patient to die.
In the matter of the malfunctioning anesthesia machine, an injured patient told the San Diego Union Tribune that she “felt cutting, smelled burning, felt intense pulling down and towards (my) right side…I could feel the tears coming down my cheek . . . why didn’t they see my tears? I tried to talk . . . the pain was horrendous.”
Of course, most people don’t realize that few of the victims will receive justice for the medical negligence that caused their suffering. California’s MICRA law restricts the recovery of non-economic damages (e.g. pain, suffering, disabling, embarrassment, etc.) to $250,000.00. Under no circumstances can any victim who is injured, maimed, or killed by a health care provider in California receive more.