Mistake By Temp Nurse The Cause Of Oakland Patient’s Death?

by Staff Blogger | September 26th, 2011

September 26, 2011

A 66-year-old Oakland, California, woman who was a patient at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center died Saturday while under the care of a nurse who was temporarily hired by the hospital to cover for nurses who were on strike. According to The Oakland Tribune, hospital officials are calling the accident one of the worst mistakes in the hospital’s history.

The hospital had hired 500 contract nurses to cover for a one-day strike on Thursday. Administrators then sent staff who participated in the strike home on Friday when they arrived for work. Under one of the temporary nurse’s care, the patient was given an improper dose of medication and later died as a result.

One nurse who works in the unit where the patient was placed believes their replacements were, “Not familiar with the policies and procedures, or with the equipment.”

Dr. Steve O’Brien, the hospital’s chief medical officer, issued an apology soon after, stating that the incident was being fully investigated.

Since 2007, the California Department of Public Health has collected more than $4.6 million dollars in fines from hospitals in cases where one in twenty-eight medical mistakes that occurred was deemed inexcusable.

The California Wrongful Death Attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers would urge patients who have suffered at the hands of under- or un-qualified medical staff to contact them at 1-800-400-BERG, or by filling out an online consultation form, for a free evaluation of your case.