Bakersfield Memorial fined in connection with death of patient in 2016

Bakersfield Memorial has been fined $75,000 in connection with a death of a patient in 2016.

On Thursday, the California Department of Public Health issued penalties for more than a dozen hospitals across the state. Bakersfield Memorial was one of those. 

According to documents provided by the CDPH, in March of last year, a patient was being treated at Bakersfield Memorial. A physician ordered that hospital staff supervise and monitor the patient during meal times. The patient then ate a meal unsupervised and died after choking on their food.

It was previously reported before the patient died that the patient "was shoveling food into (her) mouth so quickly that (she) started choking." Multiple instances of those types of notes were shared before the patient's death. 

The hospital has since adopted multiple plans and strategies to avoid similar incidents.

This is the third time since 2009 the hospital has been penalized for jeopardizing the safety or health of patients. The first came in 2009 when it "jeopardized the health and safety of patients by not having properly functioning anesthesia equipment." 

The hospital was fined $50,000 in 2014 after it "failed to ensure the health and safety of patients when it did not follow established policies and procedures for patient monitoring and intervention."

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