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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion
Despite efforts by law enforcement and public health officials to curb prescription drug abuse, drug-related deaths in the United States have continued to rise, the latest data show. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that drug fatalities increased 3% in 2010, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Preliminary data for 2011 indicate the trend has continued. The figures reflect all drug deaths, but the increase was propelled largely by prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, according to just-released analyses by CDC researchers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Measures that would expand the roles of nurse practitioners and pharmacists advanced in the Assembly on Tuesday, setting the stage for a fierce lobbying battle in the session's final weeks. Both measures wade into the so-called scope of practice debate over what type of medical care can be administered  by non-physicians, setting off a turf war between doctors and other medical providers. The more contentious of the two bills is SB 491, which would allow nurse practitioners to practice without physicians' supervision.
OPINION
July 1, 2011 | By Lucian Leape and Helen Haskell
Forty years ago this month, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that sleep-deprived resident physicians reading electrocardiograms made twice as many errors as their rested counterparts. Back then, in 1971, there were no limits on the hours that medical residents could be scheduled to work. Thirty-six-hour on-call shifts were the norm. Under new rules that take effect Friday, newly minted medical school graduates will start their internships with shifts limited to no longer than 16 hours.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2001
As a practicing physician, I appreciate your March 11 story, "Risk Was Known as FDA OKd Fatal Drug." When the diabetes drug Rezulin was still on the market, I was pushing for its withdrawal, or at least a "black box" warning to physicians. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the congressional mandate to the Food and Drug Administration has been to protect the public. In the 1990s, when Congress asked the FDA to speed approval for drugs that could potentially save lives in hopeless diseases such as AIDS and terminal cancer (fast-track approval)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 | By Anna Gorman
The union representing nearly 13,000 University of California patient-care workers plans to take a strike vote beginning Tuesday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME 3299, will hold the strike vote through Thursday and announce results next week. The vote comes after nearly a year of negotiations between the workers and UC over staffing, pay and pension reforms. The contract expired in September. Union President Kathryn Lybarger said the university is putting profits above patient safety and that workers want better staffing and fair pay. The hospitals have seen more understaffing and the use of temporary employees, she said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 2008 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Thirteen hospitals, including five in Los Angeles and Orange counties, have been fined for placing patients at risk of serious injury or death, California health officials said Wednesday. Two Los Angeles County public hospitals, Harbor-UCLA and Olive View-UCLA medical centers, received citations. The two, along with County-USC Medical Center, form the backbone of the county's health system. Also fined were Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center and St.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 8, 2011 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
State public health officials have fined 12 California hospitals for medical errors that hurt or killed patients, according to a report released Wednesday. Three of the hospitals — L.A. County/USC Medical Center, Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Brotman Medical Center — are in Los Angeles County. The penalties were issued for errors such as leaving foreign objects in patients' bodies during surgery and administrating the wrong medication. They occurred in 2009 and 2010.
OPINION
April 2, 2007 | Betsy McCaughey, BETSY MCCAUGHEY is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (hospitalinfection.org).
THE TYPICAL hospital patient is given the wrong medication or the wrong dose at least once a day, according to the Institute of Medicine, a research organization that advises Congress. The good news is that these mistakes are less likely to happen at a hospital run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Surprised?
OPINION
March 20, 2013
Re "Violating the right to a lawyer," Opinion, March 18 I read this piece on inadequate representation for poor criminal defendants with mixed feelings. I have been a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County for nearly 13 years, and during that time I've worked with attorneys whom I believe to be among the country's finest criminal defense attorneys. The nearly 700 attorneys in our office receive special training at the misdemeanor, juvenile delinquency and felony levels; in fact, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized our felony training program in 2010.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
While Jesse Bravo was being treated for schizophrenia at White Memorial Medical Center last year, his wife, Laura, called the hospital daily and visited him several times. But when hospital officials decided to discharge him, Laura Bravo said, they didn't notify her and instead left him outside a rehabilitation center in South Los Angeles. She said her husband, who is not homeless, never went inside and spent days on the streets before being found. "Not knowing where he was was very scary," she said.
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