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Although Orange County’s hospitals have a good reputation, medical errors are still causing personal injury and death to many people here. Imagine waking up from your surgery to find out that they operated on the wrong knee? Left you with a staph infection? Left instruments and sponges inside you? It’s hard to believe but it is happening, and unfortunately, at an increasing rate.
California Department of Public Health, the agency that oversees proper health care and hospital conformity recently released the list of hospitals that received penalties due to non compliance and these actions were deemed likely to cause serious injury or death to their patients.
Of the 18 California hospitals fined, 15 were in Southern California and of those 15, 6 were in Orange County. Hospitals like Hoag Memorial in Newport Beach, Los Alamitos, Fountain Valley Regional, Anaheim General, and Coastal Communities. These hospitals had performed wrong procedures, left sponges inside patients, gave incorrect medications, etc.
Preventable deaths in America rose 3% to a staggering 247,662 deaths in 2005. The cost to hospitals is 8.6 billion but the cost to patients is unforgiveable. Currently, patient safety incidence that were most common were post operative sepsis, or simply an infection that has developed after surgery(35%), post operative respiratory failure (19%), and other infections (13%).
According to a study by Health Grades, California ranks 42nd in the country according to incidences, injuries and other issues facing its hospitals. So what is a patient to do when they learn they must have a procedure done in a nearby OC hospital? Fortunately there are some online resources that can assist you in making an informed decision.
One great website that compares hospitals in your area is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, HHS at .Just place your zip code, city or county in the search box and you will receive a listing of hospitals within a 25 or 50 mile radius of your home. Then click three hospitals to compare. You will receive information such as quality of nursing care and responsiveness to heart attack protocol and proper antibiotics given for pneumonia.
For a more comprehensive hospital check you can visit the fee-based Health Grades. For example, let’s say you are going into the hospital for a hip replacement. Studies have shown that the hospital that does procedures on more frequent basis tend to do a better job. Surf over to and search under “hospital ratings”. Then check off what procedure you will be having done and then your county. You will receive a comprehensive list of the hospitals in your area to compare where the best place for you to have this done. Additionally you will find out which hospital has the best success rate!
While you’re visiting Health Grades, don’t forget to check out your doctor as well. How many malpractice suits has he or she been involved in? Any sanctions with a hospital or medical board? Remember, your healthcare is IN YOUR hands.
Have you been injured due to a medical error or have a loved one that has died due to the negligence of a hospital or doctor? You probably have lots of question, so why not call the experts who will advise you of your rights and possible options. Call the expert personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie today.