Penn State Hershey cited in 2 more patient deaths

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HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – The state Health Department has cited Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for mishandling the care of two patients who died, including a child.

An inspection report dated Aug. 2 says the hospital “failed to implement emergency procedures without unnecessary delay.” Both cases occurred in June.

A Penn State Hershey spokesman said the child had lifelong medical deficiencies and was being treated for a serious infection but “did not receive a timely upgrade to the intensive care unit as required by our protocols.”

The other person was in the emergency room after a fall. The Health Department cited the hospital because an order placed for a medication to help stop bleeding of the brain didn’t reach the patient in the 30-minute window in which it was supposed to be given.

The hospital was also cited for mishandling the care of a third patient. That person was not given a medication that may have minimized the symptoms of a stroke because of a difference of clinical opinion among staff members.

“Instances such as this are inconsistent with the high-quality care our community has come to expect from us and which we expect from ourselves,” a hospital spokesman said in a statement. “We deeply regret when we fall short of those expectations.”

The hospital was cited last month for the death of a 6-year-old boy whose temperature topped 107 degrees while he was under a special heating blanket for a low temperature in January.

The Health Department said there are no records that the boy’s temperature was taken during a 10-hour period, and because the hospital didn’t report the “serious event” for 77 days, instead of the required 24 hours.

The Dauphin County district attorney’s office is reviewing that case.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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