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Clinic is faulted for lag in reporting death

Riverside Planned Parenthood failed to report death of abortion patient promptly.

July 03, 2007|Jonathan Abrams | Times Staff Writer

California health regulators have taken action against a Riverside Planned Parenthood clinic for failing to report an abortion patient's death in a timely manner, but did not fault the medical care provided at the facility.

Edrica Goode, 21, of Riverside died Feb. 14 of toxic shock syndrome at Riverside County Regional Medical Center. In a lawsuit, her mother, Aletheia Meloncon, alleges that the Planned Parenthood clinic and medical center showed negligence in treating Goode.

The state Department of Health Services issued a "deficiency" finding June 29, saying that "based on medical record reviews and staff interviews, the facility failed to report an unusual death occurrence involving a patient's death within 24 hours to the department."

The clinic is required to submit a plan of correction to the state within 10 days, said Lea Brooks, a Department of Health Services spokeswoman. The regulators did not fault the clinic's patient care.

The department is also investigating to see whether Goode received proper care at the medical center, Brooks said.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Vince Hall said the clinic would respond to the report in a timely manner.

"The health and safety of our patients is our highest priority," he said in a prepared statement. "We appreciate the findings of the Department of Health Services that there was no criticism of the care and treatment rendered by Planned Parenthood to Ms. Goode."

The lawsuit alleges that a nurse inserted cervical dilators, which are used to gradually expand the cervix in preparation for second-trimester abortions, despite the presence of an infection.

The dilators spread the infection to the rest of her body, the suit alleges.

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