CDPH in the News, December 2014

CDPH in the News

Calif. Hospitals Reported 6,282 Adverse Events Over Four Years
from California Healthline

In the last four fiscal years, California hospitals have reported more than 6,000 adverse events to the California Department of Public Health, but the number of actual adverse events could be higher, according to an NBC Bay Area investigative report.

State inadequately investigates nursing home complaints, audit finds
from Los Angeles Times

The California Department of Public Health has failed to effectively investigate nursing home complaints, a state audit released Thursday found, with a total of 11,000 unresolved complaints in its system. The department, which is responsible for monitoring more than 2,500 nursing homes, classified more than 40% of these complaints and incidents as having caused or being likely to cause harm to a resident. Yet the state auditor’s office found that the average number of days these complaints were open ranged from 14 to 1,042 days.

Fargo facility could handle Ebola-related waste
from WTHI TV

The Fargo operator of a medical waste incinerator would only accept Ebola-contaminated waste from other states after careful consideration, and it doesn’t currently have any plans to do so, company officials said. Healthcare Environmental Services Inc. has received a few calls from nervous people since it appeared on a California Department of Public Health list of potential destinations for any Ebola-related waste, said Chad Wold, the company’s director.

Study: Trauma Follows Children Into Adulthood, Threat to Public Health in CA
from New American Media

Past experiences of childhood trauma are common among California adults, and those experiences correlate with harmful behaviors and chronic disease at a level that constitutes a "public health crisis," according to a new study. The report used four years’ worth of data from the California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey on health-related behaviors conducted every year by the California Department of Public Health and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The total sample size was nearly 28,000 individuals. The report by the Center for Youth Wellness (CYW), a health organization that serves children and families in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point district, demonstrates that "the effects of early adversity on lifetime health are astounding," according to CYW founder and CEO Nadine Burke Harris.

Newborn Testing Delays Prove Dangerous at Local Hospitals
from NBC 7 San Diego

When Rhonda Connolly had her second son, Casey, she and her husband brought him back to their Del Mar home thinking everything was fine. She was breastfeeding her seemingly healthy baby, not knowing every meal was putting protein into his body that turned into brain damage-causing toxins. Three days after Casey?s birth, his pediatrician called saying his newborn screening test results were abnormal. Their son tested positive for Phenylketonuria or PKU, a rare condition in which a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. If a person with PKU has too much protein, it builds up toxins that can cause permanent brain damage.
The Connolly family received the newborn screening results on time, and it was imperative they did. Doctors were able to treat Casey immediately.
However, in some hospitals around the country and in San Diego County, samples are taking longer than the recommended three to five days to reach a laboratory.
Federal health advisors and newborn screening advocates say the dangerous delays put babies in danger and their families at risk of having to deal with expensive, lifelong medical bills.
The California New Born Screening Program screens more than 98 percent of babies born in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). It tests for 31 conditions.