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Detroit Medical Center cited for jeopardizing patients’ health

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2019 | Surgical Errors

Detroit Medical Center (DMC) could lose its federal funding due to multiple violations of infection control requirements. This marks the second instance of infection control violations by DMC in the last two years.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) recently conducted reviews of DMC hospitals. Two such hospitals—Harper and Receiving—failed their health and safety inspections. According to the CMMS report, “the deficiencies cited are significant and limit your hospital’s capacity to render adequate care and to ensure the health and safety of your patients.”

Harper Hospital

Many of the infractions at Harper Hospital were in the Intensive Care Unit—where patients are in critical condition, and basic health protections are especially important. Violations include:

  • Unsanitary conditions—including large spills and unhygienic maintenance of a catheter bag
  • Insects in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Ineffective measures to protect sterile equipment
  • Deteriorating ICU conditions

Receiving Hospital

The CMMS found that the surgical team at this hospital exhibited particular negligence. Violations include:

  • Inappropriate restraint of patients
  • Ineffective infection control—leading to an increased risk of patients contracting communicable diseases
  • Improper documentation of infections that patients acquired while in the hospital
  • Hygiene violations—including surgeons failing to wear gloves or wash hands
  • Use of non-sterile surgical equipment

Both of these hospitals must implement immediate correction plans and will undergo further inspections. If severe violations continue—constituting “immediate jeopardy of the patient”—then DMC will lose patient funding from Medicare and Medicaid.

Hospitals of a responsibility to properly control the spread of infectious diseases. When hospitals fail their patients in this fundamental way, this constitutes medical malpractice—and patients have the right to seek justice under the law.


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