- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

Cal/OSHA hits hospital for aerosol transmissible disease violation

In a major application of California’s aerosol transmissible disease standard—the only one currently on the books in the US [1]—Cal/OSHA fined Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, $101,485.

The case involved a December 3, 2009 “incident in which police and firefighters conducted a welfare check of a 36-year-old man who was later confirmed to have bacterial meningitis,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle, April 21 [2].

Paramedics then brought the patient to the hospital where a respiratory therapist who treated the patient became ill with bacterial meningitis and was admitted to the intensive care unit of John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek, CA, a week after the exposure, according to the Chronicle.

An exposure also occurred to a responding police officer who was hospitalized.

In addition to the hospital’s fine, the Oakland Police and Fire departments received fines for not preventing worker exposure to bacterial meningitis, a violation of the aerosol transmissible disease standard.