Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Left AMA or Failed to Report Child Abuse?

From SGVTribune.com:

Garfield Medical Center has submitted a "plan of correction" after its emergency room staff failed to report possible abuse in the case of a 2-year-old girl who later died, officials said Monday.

Calls to Garfield Medical Center's spokesperson were not returned.

Sarah Chavez, who was found dead in her Alhambra home Oct. 11, was taken to the hospital by her mother's aunt and caretaker, Frances Abundis, the night of Oct. 10 with an unexplained broken arm. She was released from the hospital after four hours, and her doctor signed a form saying she left "against medical advice."

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled the toddler's death a homicide, the result of blunt force trauma to her lower abdomen. Abundis, 35, and her husband, Armando Abundis Sr., 32, were arrested and later charged with murder, child abuse and assault in connection with Sarah's death.

A report from the California Department of Health Services said the emergency room doctor and two nurses who saw Sarah failed to report possible child abuse. In the department's report, an unidentified nurse told Dolores Braithwaite, a registered nurse and health facility evaluator, that "the child was staring at me in a way that bothered me a lot" but added that she "did nothing about it."


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