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California Department of Public Health shows 144 complaints against Bakersfield Memorial Hospital from 2017 to 2019

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 11:37:51-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Jan. 9, the family of Sabrina De La Rosa said the mother of three died after being admitted to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for labor pains. The family claims De La Rosa was given too much of the opioid drug, fentanyl, a routinely administered pain reliever used in hospitals.

A week later, the family of 51-year-old, Bryant Deon Burgess said he went to the hospital for a cold and trouble breathing. According to Deon’s family, he was given nearly two dozen different types of medication, including fentanyl, and died within hours of going to Memorial hospital.

Memorial Hospital president and CEO Ken Keller issued a statement to 23ABC News Sunday saying:

While there are routinely multiple complex circumstances involved when providing emergency care, clinical leadership from Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Dignity Health are deeply concerned about this incident. A full review of the care that Mr. Burgess received is underway and we will work closely with State and Federal regulators.
Ken Keller CEO - Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

According to the California Department of Public Health website, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital had 144 complaints from 2017 to 2019.

During those years, we found that 54 of those complaints were substantiated. Of the 54 substantiated complaints, 26 were substantiated with deficiencies, which the CDPH defines as, “The complaint is substantiated, and the facility violated one or more regulatory requirements (these violations are also called deficiencies).”

23ABC News found the three categories with the highest complaints with substantiated deficiencies. The first category was quality of care/treatment, which includes resident safety. This category had 8 complaints. The second category was nursing services, which had five complaints. The third category was state monitoring. Two examples listed in the allegation sub category of the complaints include surgery performed on a wrong body part and retention of foreign object in a patient.


23ABC News reached out to Memorial Hospital again Monday about these complaints, but they referred us to the same statement sent previously.

Autopsies results are still pending for both Del La Rosa and Burgess.

23ABC News also reached out to the California Department of Public Health for comment and are awaiting a response.

If you would like more information on complaints filed at other local hospitals or how to file a hospital complaint, you can visit the California Department of Health Database here.