Olive View hospital under scrutiny


Olive View- UCLA Medical Center has come under scrutiny in the last several years:

In October 2007, Donald Taylor, a 51-year-old man who ate highly toxic oleander leaves, died when the hospital lacked enough vials of antidote. The state later fined the hospital $25,000 for failing to ensure there was sufficient medication on hand.

In mid-October 2007, Maria Irazabal, whose gallbladder was removed at Olive View, developed a massive infection and died. State investigators found numerous examples of botched follow-up care and fined the hospital $25,000. Irazabal’s family sued Los Angeles County, alleging negligent treatment, and county lawyers have recommended settling that case for $382,500.

On Oct. 28, 2007, Christopher Jones, 38, collapsed and died after waiting more than three hours in the emergency room complaining of chest pains. The hospital failed to administer a simple test to check whether Jones was having a heart attack.

In April 2008, one of two twins delivered by caesarean section suffered a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen, according to county documents. Medical staff delayed performing the C-section after failing to quickly determine the importance of an “unusual and rarely occurring heart rate pattern,” according to county documents. The county Board of Supervisors agreed in January 2010 to pay the mother of the twins, Claudia Chavez, $5.9 million in a settlement.

Olive View also received two state penalties last year, one issued Feb. 19, 2009, for $25,000 and another for $50,000 on Sept. 2, 2009.

The California Department of Public Health declined to give details about the errors leading to those fines, citing a policy of not releasing information regarding care given to mental health patients, said Ralph Montano, a department spokesman.