Doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center were about to remove organs for transplant from a woman they thought was dead.
Then she opened her eyes. She was alive.
The state Health Department found St. Joe’s care of patient Colleen S. Burns in 2009 unacceptable and a federal agency criticized the hospital for not properly investigating the cause. The hospital’s mishandling of the case was part of the reason the state Health Department fined St. Joe’s $22,000 last September — the largest fine levied against a Central New York hospital since 2002.
St. Joe’s was fined $6,000 over the Burns case and $16,000 for leaving a patient unattended before she fell and injured her head in 2011.
The state could not find a case similar to the Burns case after reviewing the past 10 years of inspection records, a spokesman said.