Harbor-UCLA Medical Center failed to maintain a sanitary environment
Operating rooms were kept at the wrong humidity level
TORRANCE, Calif.—County-run Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance failed to keep its operating rooms clean and to protect its patients from possible infection, it was reported.
According to a report obtained by the Los Angeles Times, federal inspectors found hospital rooms that had holes in the ceilings or that were dusty and cluttered.
Operating rooms were kept at the wrong humidity level, which can lead to the spread of germs, The Times reported.
Some hospital staffers were not always washing their hands according to policy.
“The hospital failed to maintain a sanitary environment for the provision of surgical services,” an inspector wrote. “This could lead to contaminated surfaces in the operating room and the spread of infection.”
The infection control problems found at the county-run hospital earlier this year were so serious that the federal government sent a letter this summer threatening to revoke Medicare funding, a move that could financially destroy the institution. The county submitted a plan of correction.
The federal agency has not issued its follow-up report.
A series of patient-care lapses, some resulting in death, led to the eventually closing of county-run Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center in 2007, which the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is in the process of reviving. A new hospital is set to open in 2013.
Harbor-UCLA was completed in 1963, and the county is spending about $323 million to build a 190,000-square-foot hospital to replace the original.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
The state also cited the hospital for not quickly screening and stabilizing two patients who went to the emergency room complaining of chest pain, The Times reported. Another patient who had been hit by a car died after nurses failed to closely monitor his condition, according to the state.
The hospital has remained accredited by the Joint Commission, though it had 21 complaints that met the criteria for review by the agency.
Los Angeles police say two suspects have been arrested for the murder of 5-year-old Aaron Shannon, and are being held without bail. Leonard Hall Jr., 21, was taken into custody today (Friday) about at 2:10 a.m. at an apartment in the 200 block of West. 27th Str. Marcus Denson, 18, was arrested Thursday evening by Sheriff’s deputies in the 1100 block of East 83rd Street. Law enforcement officials say both suspects are active gang members.
COMPTON, Calif. — Former Compton Fire Department Deputy Chief Marcel Melanson is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on grand theft and arson charges related to a fire at the department’s headquarters.
Melanson is suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of Motorola radios, selling them online and intentionally setting the Dec. 11, 2011 fire to destroy evidence of the thefts, Steve Whitmore of the sheriff’s department said.
TORRANCE, Calif. — Torrance police today announced they are seeking a man in his 20s suspected of exposing himself near schools twice in a seven-day span.
Two students were walking home from Bert Lynn Middle School Tuesday when they saw a man seated in the driver seat of a small blue or gray four door sedan, possibly a Honda. His passenger window was down and he chuckled at them.
He was holding his exposed penis with both hands, laughing. He said nothing and the victims turned away and quickly went home, police said.
TORRANCE, Calif. — The Torrance Police Department announced today that it has three suspects in custody who are believed to have been involved in credit card fraud victimizing 37 people from San Diego to Simi Valley.
The investigation began on Sept. 17, after a Torrance resident living in the 17500 block of Emanita Avenue was fraudulently billed for a delivery to a FedEx office at 21023 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Surveillance video allegedly showed a suspect picking up a package.
TORRANCE, Calif.—A coroner's official today released the names of a husband and wife, both in their 70s, who died in a murder-suicide inside the woman's room at a Torrance hospital.
They were Marlow Hugo Galbraith, 75, and Joanna Sue Galbraith, 74, both of Torrance, said Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Joe Bale.