State fines hospital over patient care

  1. State fines hospital over patient care

    May 15, 2004, 4:59 PM EDT

    ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state Health Department has fined Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital $20,000 for breakdowns in patient care in anesthesia and plastic surgery.

    The investigation this year into the deaths of two patients who had complications during elective surgery identified 10 violations, said Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia Novello. They included failures to conduct basic preoperative patient assessments, adequately monitor changes in vital signs and effectively respond to the adverse incidents, she said.

    "The hospitals response to these emergency situations was not effective. These egregious violations will require the full and immediate attention of the hospital to assure that they are never repeated," Novello said.

    The department is also requiring the hospital have an independent expert review of its anesthesia department and said it would do unannounced inspections of both anesthesia and plastic surgery units in the coming year.

    In a statement, the hospital said it has taken steps since the incidents to improve safeguards.

    One of the patients who died was novelist Olivia Goldsmith, who wrote "The First Wives Club."
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