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Medical Malpractice

September 29, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Charles A. O'Brien, 83, a former California deputy attorney general who narrowly lost the 1970 election for attorney general to Evelle Younger, died Sept. 3 at his home in Danville, Calif., after a period of declining health, his family said. O'Brien joined the attorney general's office in 1959 under Stanley Mosk, left in 1961 for a stint as Gov. Pat Brown's executive secretary, then a year later became manager of Mosk's reelection campaign. After Mosk won the 1962 race, he named O'Brien, a fellow Democrat, as his deputy.
March 1, 2008 | Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, Times Staff Writers
Kaiser Permanente has suspended a physician who handled high-risk pregnancies at its Fresno hospital, more than four months after the Los Angeles Times reported that doctors and nurses there had repeatedly questioned his competence. In a statement released late Friday, interim hospital Administrator Linda Monte said that, effective immediately, perinatologist Hamid Safari would not be able to provide care to any Kaiser member in a hospital or outpatient setting.
February 29, 2008 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
A transplant surgeon accused of illegally hastening the death of a prospective organ donor acted properly when he ordered sizable doses of pain and anxiety medication for the comatose man, the physician's attorney suggested in court Thursday. Gravely ill, Ruben Navarro "was going to die shortly, whether in minutes or in hours," said attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach as he asked a question of a witness. "In that situation, you err on the side of ensuring that he's pain-free."
February 28, 2008 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
No one in the courtroom Wednesday suggested that Ruben Navarro could have avoided death for long. But whether the severely retarded, comatose 25-year-old was nudged into it by an impatient transplant surgeon is at the core of a legal proceeding unprecedented in the United States. Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 34, has been charged with three felonies in Navarro's 2006 death.
February 7, 2008 | From the Associated Press
An arbitration panel has faulted Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. for contributing to the overdose death of a patient in 2005 and awarded his family $319,000. The panel found the Kaiser hospital in Harbor City "fell beneath the standard of care" and that the insulin overdose was "a substantial contributing factor" in the death of 73-year-old Peter Lakos, the panel wrote in a decision dated Jan. 30. Lakos, a Type 2 diabetic, was injected with 10 times the normal dose of insulin and went into respiratory arrest in 2005.
January 26, 2008 | Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, Times Staff Writers
If Kaiser Permanente's Fresno hospital had acted on complaints and kept a closer watch over its medical staff, two babies might still be alive, federal health inspectors concluded in a report released this week. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began investigating the hospital in October, two days after the Los Angeles Times reported that doctors and nurses had complained repeatedly to higher-ups about perinatologist Hamid Safari's medical and interpersonal skills.
December 29, 2007 | Daniel Costello, Times Staff Writer
Dave Stewart's 72-year-old mother went to Stanford University Medical Center for double knee-replacement surgery in April. Four days later, she was dead. To Stewart, an anesthesiologist, it seemed a classic case of medical malpractice. After the operation, his mother developed sharp abdominal pain that she described as "10 on a scale of 1 to 10," according to her medical records. The hospital failed to diagnose the cause of her pain and continued to treat her with narcotics.
December 8, 2007 | Henry Weinstein
An investigation initiated by the Medical Board of California has resulted in the arrest of a man accused of practicing medicine without a license, authorities said Friday. The board alleges that Martin Yanez was illegally soliciting California residents for tummy tucks, liposuction and breast augmentations.
November 11, 2007
Re "Family seeks $45 million in King-Harbor death," Nov. 6 A jury might think $45 million is fair and just compensation to the family of the woman who died while hospital personnel ignored her cries of pain for nearly an hour. But the judge will automatically reduce any possible verdict to $250,000 -- the most in noneconomic damages anyone can recover for any injury or death caused by a healthcare provider.
October 16, 2007 | Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, Times Staff Writers
Late one April night, the first of Sarah Valenzuela's twins arrived with little trouble, but the second stayed put. Though the baby was not in distress, Kaiser Permanente perinatologist Hamid Safari attached a vacuum extractor to the boy's head to draw him out. Again and again he tugged, but still the baby would not come. He vigorously shook the vacuum, up and down, side to side, according to government documents and hospital incident reports.
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