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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
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 4, 2008 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
When Lawrence Paul Rael was involuntarily committed to Atascadero State Hospital 10 years ago, his parents considered the placement appropriate. Born prematurely and with a severe hearing loss, Rael had been in and out of mental health facilities from the time he was a child, with a tentative diagnosis of autism. At 18, he molested two boys and was sent to prison and then to Atascadero.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2013 | By Michael J. Mishak
SACRAMENTO -- A series of bills to expand the roles of nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals has set off a turf war with doctors over what non-physicians can and can't do in medical practices. Citing a doctor shortage in California, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) has proposed legislation that would redefine professional boundaries for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists to help treat what is expected to be a crush of newly insured Californians seeking care next year under the federal healthcare law. But physicians are pushing back, arguing that the proposed “scope of practice” changes would radically alter longstanding medical standards and jeopardize patient safety.
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.
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.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Hospital chain HCA Holdings Inc., under government scrutiny for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries and other medical procedures on some Florida patients, has posted healthy profits at its three hospitals in Southern California. The Nashville, Tenn., company said in a securities filing Monday that officials with the U.S. attorney's office in Miami had requested information about medical necessity reviews for certain "cardiology services. " HCA said those reviews had occurred at about 10 of its hospitals, primarily in Florida.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Ten California hospitals received fines Thursday for errors that resulted in either serious injury or death to a patient. The California Department of Public Health issued a total of $785,000 in penalties for errors that include removing the wrong kidney, leaving surgical objects behind and failing to call for assistance when a patient began bleeding excessively. The civil fines, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, were issued to hospitals throughout the state for errors that occurred in 2010 and 2011.
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.
HEALTH
October 11, 2010 | By Brendan Borrell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the 18th century, physicians-in-training literally lived in the hospitals where they worked. Although today's "residents" are no longer supposed to be sleeping on the job, so to speak, their 30-hour work shifts mean that it's not uncommon to find them battling shut-eye in the emergency room. Heroic working hours have long been a badge of honor for senior physicians ? the late cardiovascular surgeon Michael DeBakey often bragged that he slept for only five or six hours per night tops.
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