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12 Hospitals Fined for ‘Immediate Jeopardy’ Violations in CA
Health Leaders Media

Under laws that are the nation’s toughest, California on Friday announced 14 penalties totaling $575,000 against 12 hospitals where caregivers put patients in “immediate jeopardy” of harm, such as failing to remove surgical sponges, metal retractors, drill bits, guide wires and a towel.

At a Petaluma hospital, a sponge was not discovered for 1 year and nine months after it was left inside a patient. And at Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, a non-tagged blue towel—used to save an 80-year-old man who was bleeding to death—was not discovered for four months, despite three hospitalizations and a surgery determine why his wound hadn’t healed.