Merced hospital could be sued for baby's burns | News
SACRAMENTO, CA - A Merced family is coming to Shriner's Hospital in Sacramento as often as three times a month for treatment of third-degree burns they say their baby incurred inside another hospital.
On March 28, 2012, Lylah's parents, Tiffany Payne and Stanley Quezada, took the baby to Mercy Merced's emergency room dehydrated and suffering from diarrhea.
According to Payne, a nurse tried to start an intravenous line, but was unable to do so.
"He came in and stabbed her twice," Payne said. "Then they called a lady from pediatrics to come down."
Quezada says they tried to start a line, pricking the baby's skin 14 times.
The family attorney, Moseley Collins, says in an attempt to try to find the vein, a nurse held a bright light to Lylah's left palm. However, the nurse did not realize the light was so hot it was causing third degree burns.
"He held it to her hand for about eight minutes," Payne said. "She was screaming at the top of her lungs."
At first, Payne and Quezada thought the nurse used a flashlight. Now they're being told it is possible the light was one normally used inside a vaginal spectrum device. When used properly inside the spectrum, the light never makes contact with the skin.
Mercy Merced, owned by Dignity Health, did not clarify what the light was, but did say it was "unapproved".
In a May 11 letter to Collins, Barbara Van Koll, a Dignity Health Area claims manager, wrote, "The nurses used an unapproved light source to locate a vein." She went on to say, "Since that light source does not get hot on the sides, they were not aware of its potential to get hot and were thus unaware of the burn."
Van Koll's letter indicated the health care system would reimburse the family for "reasonable expenses".
Mercy representative Bob McLaughlin refused an interview with News10, but did respond in an email.
"We take this incident very seriously and have conducted a thorough review of the events," McLaughlin wrote. He added, "We are working with the family to ensure Lylah's needs are met."
Recent home video shows Lylah, still suffering pain, as Payne must massage and stretch the baby's wound everyday, several times a day.
"This little girl, who's not even 1 years old, will have a damaged left hand for the rest of her life," said Collins. "Everyday she'll get up and look at that hand. This is a case she should be compensated for what she's going through."
Because of the burns, Lylah has to wear a burn glove for up to two years and she'll have permanent scars.
News10 did ask Mercy Merced for more information, including the nurse's reprimand and what the hospital is doing to prevent this again, but a response was not received by deadline.
The hospital received notification of a potential lawsuit Wednesday. How long Mercy Merced has to settle the case before the suit is initiated will be up to Lylah's attorney.
"Being a parent you're supposed to protect your children," said Payne. "I feel like through this whole ordeal all I have to do is hurt her."
By Nick Monacelli, email@example.com