Bismarck News

Report: Needle left in child's heart; doctors kept it quiet

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - Johns Hopkins All Children's hospital was hit with two citations after doctors reportedly left a needle inside a child's heart and failed to disclose the incident to the child's parents. 

State inspectors analyzed reports that show doctors left a 5-millimeter curved needle in a child's heart.

They determined All Children's did not tell the child's parents about the needle and the hospital waited to report that particular incident and a separate incident within 15 days, the Agency of Health Care Administration said in a citation following an inspection last month. 

The hospital released the following statement regarding their report:

Patient safety and providing the highest quality of care are foundational to our mission and the manner in which we care for children. We are sorry for anything less than an ideal outcome for any patient under our care. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) conducted their annual routine survey on April 26-27, 2018 and cited the hospital twice, in reference to two cases from 2016. We will work with AHCA to get clarification about reporting requirements, and as matters are brought to our attention, we immediately begin a stringent internal process that includes both communication to our boards and appropriate parties as well as a review of our policies and procedures. This is exactly what happened in these situation and as result, we feel confident that these measures will ensure better care and better communications for our patients and families. All of which are fundamentally important to our mission. 

We regret that these issues are being brought forward at this time. Thankfully, as recent news coverage shared, this child is doing well and for that we are grateful. What we learned as result, will now help us help other children as we return to our mission of providing leadership in child health through treatment, education, advocacy and research.

"It's a little bit concerning, but it could have been an instant mistake," said Shanna Starnes, the mother of a patient at All Children's. 

Starnes said she brought her son to All Children's after doctors at another hospital gave him a misdiagnosis.

"I mean we're human so, we all make mistakes, but something like that still," she said.


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