• Report: #643765
Complaint Review:

Palomar Medical Center

  • Submitted: Thu, September 23, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, September 23, 2010

  • Reported By: suzieg — Simi Valley California United States of America
Palomar Medical Center
555 E. Valley Parkway Escondido, California United States of America

Palomar Medical Center Palomar Pomerado Medical Center, Pomerado Hospital, Palomar Pomerado Hospital, Palomar Hospital, Palomar Pomerado Health My complaint #CA00203293 is substantiated by the Dept. of Health Escondido, California

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Palomar Medical Center is located in a sleepy, upscale neighborhood just north of San Diego. My mother died there suddenly at 2:30 pm on Sept. 24, 2009. The previous day the Physicians report shows she was doing fairly well and he and my mother had been discussing her impending release tentatively scheduled for Saturday or Sunday.  However documentation shows she was found just the next day with no pulse and no respiration on the floor in her hospital room. When a patients death is suspected to be caused by a fall in a hospital in the state of California, the Medical Examiners/Coroner's Office is required to investigate, but in order to bypass the investigation the Physician had my mother's death certificate prepared with the cause of death showing "Presumed Acute Myocardial Infarction," a cause of death where the doctor knew an investigation would waived.  Then, in order to further muddy the water, when the autopsy was done my mother's head was not opened -- another move ordered by the doctor that is highly suspect under the circumstances because with a case where a patient is found dead on the floor, a fall -- with the potential brain injury that can cause sudden death -- must be suspected and investigated.

From the outside of the building you would never know Palomar Medical Center is a facility with a long record of substantiated complaints to the Board of Public Health in California ( see http://hfcis.cdph.ca.gov/LongTermCare/details/Complaint.aspx?fac=080000142 ).  This is the same hospital which, in the past, has been cited for many other negligent events, one  includes the harrowing event where, due to equipment negligence, three patients awoke while undergoing a surgical procedure, and because they were unable to move or speak out in pain, had their procedures continue while helpless and laying on an OR table ( -- see http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/facilities/Documents/HospitalAdministrativePenalties-2567Forms-LNC/2567PomeradoHospital-Poway-Event-XO3B11.pdf ). Additionally there is the long list of injuries that happened to patients while they were staying in the hospital ( -- see http://hfcis.cdph.ca.gov/LongTermCare/details/EntityReported.aspx?fac=080000142 ) and another long list of deficiencies noted after investigation by a Public Health Investigator ( -- see http://hfcis.cdph.ca.gov/LongTermCare/details/deficiencies.aspx?fac=080000142 ).

Not surprisingly, the cause of death in my mothers autopsy report does not show Myocardial Infarction at all. The unfortunate situation was that my mom was found, naked and incontinent but without a bed pan in her room, (her nurse was interviewed and stated it appeared Patient A had been ambulating to the bathroom when she fell) with the door to her room closed and without her breathing tube. She was found, not by her nurse or another nurse on duty on her floor, but by a random Respiratory Therapist who happened to be making rounds -- the only person who cared enough to respond to the alarm signaling that my moms IV and breathing tubes had become dislodged. The patient notes show that no nurse had even been to my mothers room at all that day! On the day I visited (Sept. 22, 2009) my moms alarm went off and after 15 minutes of waiting for a nurse to respond, I finally had to physically go to the nurses station myself to demand someone come in and check the cause of the alarm.  On an unannounced visit to the hospital on October 7, 2009, the California Department of Public Health substantiated the complaint made by the family the floor Patient A had been on was observed with administrative staff. All the rooms did not contain commodes and two of the patients observed had their call bells on and complained that the nurse was not answering the bell.   The hospital was cited by the California Department of Public Health for negligence in my mothers quality of care, this negligence resulted in the death of my mother.

To this hospital my mother's case is just a list item on the above referenced web pages, she is Intake ID CA00203293, a casualty, a mishap.  Having had to come to terms with the fact that the hospital caused my mothers death was shocking and extremely painful. But imagine the horrified surprise of the family when seeking an attorney to file a suit for negligence on a claim that had already been proven by an independent investigation by the State of California itself, a substantiated and validated complaint for cause regarding our mothers death! Because of Damage Caps ($250,000 for a wrongful death case) and a Statutory Cap on Attorneys Fees, there is no attorney who would take the case.  The irony is that an attorney will do the math --a lawsuit with a maximum cap of a damage at $250,000 is just not lucrative enough for any attorney who has to factor in his time at several hundred dollars per hour, the costs of going to trial, the costs of expert witnesses and the potential of a loss at jury trial.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/23/2010 03:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/palomar-medical-center/escondido-california-92025/palomar-medical-center-palomar-pomerado-medical-center-pomerado-hospital-palomar-pomerad-643765. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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