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6-Year-Old Dies After Hospital Makes Horrible Mistake

A young patient at a hospital passed away after doctors made a terrible mistake. The six-year-old was left under a heating blanket for too long. The child apparently wasn't monitored under the blanket, and his body temperature reached 107 degrees. Now, there is a probe into the hospital's role in his death.

The young child was reportedly admitted to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center back in January with the low body temperature of 89.4 degrees. To warm him up, he was placed in a 'Bair Hugger', a special heating blanket that would help raise his temperature.

According to the health department, the hospital didn't properly monitor the child while he was in the Bair Hugger, and he ultimately overheated and died.

According to hospital procedure, when a patient is wrapped in a Bair Hugger blanket, staff is supposed to have their temperature taken every two hours. Records show that the child's temperature was checked as per the rules until shortly after midnight, at which time his temperature was 98 degrees.

After that, something went drastically wrong. No one went back to check the child's temperature for the rest of the night. He remained under that blanket, unmonitored, for another 10 hours. The next morning, he was found unresponsive. His body temperature was 107.6 degrees.

One physician determined that the heating device had been left on him all night, set on high.

Staff quickly transferred the child to the pediatric intensive care unit. At 5:39 p.m. he passed away.

Making matters worse, the hospital only reported the 'serious event' more than two months after the child's death. According to Pennsylvania state law, hospital staff is required to report a death or injury within 24 hours.

The hospital has launched an internal investigation into the boy's death. They report that the child had 'ongoing, complex and life-limiting health issues'.

The incident was uncovered by medical reporter and blogger, Walter F. Roche Jr. His report brought media attention to the child’s death and the hospital’s actions, and soon after the District Attorney’s office took notice of the matter.

Dauphin County DA Edward Marsico, Jr. says his office would also be probing the child's death. "We are going to review the circumstances," he said after discovering the case.

The hospital has been cited for not monitoring the child, and for failing to immediately report the death to the proper state agency. The agency is supposed to record such events to prevent repeating a tragedy.

"This situation raised serious issues, and our response has been equally serious," said the hospital in a statement. "As an organization that holds itself accountable for providing the highest quality care while protecting the safety of patients, employees and visitors, we recognize this situation as an unacceptable failure. We expect more of ourselves as a system and as individuals committed to the highest standards of care for each person we serve.”

"We have responded with the utmost of focus and determination to do better. During the DOH on-site investigation, we immediately developed a corrective plan of action for each issue identified. Just as importantly, we launched our own investigation to determine what happened, how it happened and how to prevent it from ever occurring again," the statement continued.

Source: New York Post
Photo: Penn State Hershey Medical Center

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