A Tampa, Fla., hospital where errors killed one patient and left another with the wrong leg amputated has admitted another mistake: nearly sterilizing a woman without her consent.
The woman, whose name was not released, had one of her Fallopian tubes tied during a Caesarean delivery March 16 at University Community Hospital. The doctor stopped the procedure after a staff member told him the woman didn't authorize it, the hospital said last week.
A woman can still give birth with one tube tied.
The mistake surfaced one day after federal officials warned the hospital to make changes or it could lose $50 million in Medicare payments. They said earlier errors showed "an immediate and serious threat to...patients."
Leo Alfonso, 77, died at University Community on March 3 after a worker mistakenly disconnected him from a ventilator. His death was never reported, as is required in accidental or suspicious deaths. When the medical examiner learned through the media of Alfonso's death, he ordered the body exhumed. An autopsy determined he died because he was removed from the breathing device.
Eleven days before Alfonso's death, a doctor at University Community amputated the wrong foot of diabetic Willie King, 51. King later transferred to Tampa General Hospital and had his diseased right foot removed.
HCFA cited four areas inspectors found deficient-respiratory-care and surgical services, the governing body ultimately responsible for hospital operations and quality assurance to prevent mistakes.
University Community, a 26-year-old 424-bed hospital, is struggling to bolster its reputation (See related story, p. 90). It sent a plan to HCFA before the citation outlining steps it was taking to guard against repeat mistakes.
These included a nurse safety officer in the surgical area to verify patient consent forms and ensure communication between the surgeon and team. Additional checks were added in respiratory services, and seminars were conducted to educate employees.-Associated Press