After an investigation by the California Department of Health Care Services found serious issues and violations, the pediatric intensive care unit at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek has been banned from providing treatment to children with severe illnesses.

The hospital’s intensive care unit operates via a partnership with Stanford Medicine Children's Health.

Temporarily, the pediatric unit will reportedly not be allowed to admit patients through California's Childrens' Services, a statewide public health program that helps children 21 and under with certain diseases or health problems access care. As a spokesperson for the state told the Chronicle, this is the first time that the state has administered such a penalty.

The Chronicle had previously reported on the hospital’s troubles: Its investigation found that there were four deaths that could have potentially been prevented, along with a failure by the California Department of Health Care Services to oversee over twenty units across the state that hold CCS certification. Following the reporting, the state reportedly launched an internal review.

In this investigation, the Department of Health Care Services cited 47 deficiencies and made 62 recommendations — and some immediate stop orders — in areas related to essential care, staff qualifications, and oversight, as the Chronicle reported. It also reported that according to state investigators, John Muir’s patient records had “moderate to serious issues that merit immediate attention,” that the PICU was “operating outside its stated scope of practice,” and that PICU leaders seemed to lack “administrative control.”

It the hospital doesn’t follow the state’s orders, it could risk the PICU permanently losing its CCS certification.

A hospital spokesperson reportedly denied these issues, saying  that the investigation’s findings were “administrative,” according to the Chronicle.

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