The Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF) Hospital in Woodland Hills was among 13 hospitals fined by the California Department of Public Health for a range of safety violations.

The 13 institutions were fined $825,000 in all. They have 10 days to appeal the fines.

The MPTF hospital was charged $50,000 for leaving a sponge in the right knee of a patient that underwent surgery. The agency said the hospital failed to follow its own procedures for counting “sponges, sharps and instruments,” and the surgeon “failed to appropriately use the Raytec sponge during …the procedure.”

The incident took place in 2010. It was the hospital’s first administrative fine, according to the DPH.

The sponge was removed at another hospital after the patient felt a lump and pain near the incision, according the a write-up of the safety violation.

MPTF President and CEO Bob Beitcher apologized for the incident. "We sincerely regret this incident and have used it as an opportunity to review our policies and practices," he said in a published statement. "This comprehensive review has resulted in changes which we believe have improved our delivery of care and will prevent any recurrence."

Judy Temes