California medical board files accusation against psychiatrist Yanira Maria Olaya

January 26, 2012

On December 29, 2011 the Medical Board of California issued an Accusation against psychiatrist Yanira Maria Olaya, charging her with gross negligence and repeated negligent acts. The Board’s document details Olaya’s care of three patients at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital (SDCPH), which was found to be negligent. In one case, she treated a patient (“C.M.”) diagnosed with alcohol dependence with the antidepressant Trazodone, which caused the patient to become disoriented and to have seizure-like shaking in his body. C.M. was transferred to an emergency room whose doctor determined that Trazodone had likely caused orthostatic hypotension. The Board’s document states that Olaya did not think that the shaking was caused by Trazodone but should have known that it could have been the result of alcohol withdrawal. However, she made no changes in C.M.’s alcohol detoxification regimen to include anti-withdrawal medication. In another case, Olaya treated “R.W.” with valproic acid, a drug prescribed for the control of seizures. Two days later, the patient was observed to be in delirium, he walked into a wall, was confused and had difficulty speaking or answering simple questions. In the emergency room, a toxicology test found an elevated blood ammonia level due to an excessive amount of valproic acid. After being discharged from the emergency room, it was ordered that R.W. not be given valproic acid. R.W. was discharged from SDCPH but was admitted again three weeks later. Olaya assumed R.W.’s treatment but failed to review his patient file and again treated him with valproic acid, resulting in a repeat of the previous disorientation, etc. In the third case, Olaya had stabilized patient “D.E.”, who had been violent. Though D.E. was no longer showing an escalation of violence or aggression, Olaya inexplicably ordered his drug regimen be placed at unsafe levels. Following this, D.E. fell due to orthostatic hypotension, requiring stitches to his forehead.

Source: Accusation in the Matter of the Accusation Against Yanira Maria Olaya, M.D., Physician and Surgeon Certificate No. A94208, Case No. 10-2010-211148, Medical Board of California.


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