Local Mom Claims Hospital Refused to Care for 4-Year-Old Daughter

Murrieta Patch – by Kristina Houck

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — When Jacquelyn Vega’s daughter Vivian began bleeding days after her tonsillectomy, she rushed her to Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta. The 4-year-old was eventually treated, but at a different hospital.

After pleading with the emergency room nurses at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrietafor roughly 20 minutes, Vega alleges her daughter was denied treatment.

“She could have died,” Vega said. “I’m in shock.”

Vega said she was instructed to take her daughter to an emergency room immediately if she experienced any bleeding following her tonsillectomy on Feb. 20 at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. When her daughter had minimal bleeding six days later, Vega brought her back to the hospital where she was examined and later discharged.

Hours later, Vivian was “pouring blood from her mouth,” Vega said, and her specialist instructed Vega to get her daughter to the closest emergency room. As soon as she arrived at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, Vega requested a phone number so her daughter’s specialist could call and inform hospital staff of the situation.

“Nobody wanted to help me,” she said. “It was immediate attitude from the nurses that worked there. They were reluctant to give me a phone number.”

After her daughter’s specialist spoke to the head nurse, Vega said she expected her daughter would be seen immediately.

“I was insisting on them getting her back there. They didn’t,” she explained. “(The head nurse) and I kind of got into an arguing match back and forth, and I was just stressing to them that my daughter needed to be seen.”

Vega recalled the head nurse said,’‘You’re out of here,” and called security. A security guard escorted Vega from the facility and explained that Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta treats patients on a first come, first serve basis, Vega said.

Vega then informed her daughter’s specialist of the situation, and drove Vivian to Inland Valley Medical Center.

“I was crying; I was hysterical at that point,” Vega said. “My daughter was lethargic.”

Because her daughter’s specialist contacted Inland Valley Medical Center prior to their arrival, Vega said staff were prepared and Vivian was seen right away. Within 30 minutes, an ambulance transported the mother and daughter to Children’s Hospital of Orange County where Vivian’s doctor discovered a 3-millimeter blood clot in the back of her throat that caused the hemorrhage. Vivian had lost 25 percent of her blood.

The specialist familiar with Vivian’s case could not immediately be reached for comment.

Vivian remained at the hospital for observation until Friday morning. She is at home now, and her mother is thankful she didn’t need surgery or a blood transfusion.

“It was just a scary situation. It could have been a lot worse, but thank God it wasn’t,” Vega said. “I don’t want this to happen to somebody else. Somebody else’s child may not make it next time.”

Vega, who told Patch she worked in registration and admittance for four years at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, said nurses and technicians are trained to deal with frantic parents and loved ones.

“I’ve seen people be physically violent and be restrained and get treated,” she said. “It’s against the law to turn a patient away.”

While she wasn’t violent, Vega admitted she was frantic.

“She is my only daughter. She is my world,” Vega said. “Seeing her bleed uncontrollably and not being able to stop it or fix it, going off of what her specialist is saying to do and watching a medical professional do absolutely nothing – it was just shocking.”

Kathryn Stiles, a spokeswoman for Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta, encouraged Vega to contact the hospital and file a complaint, but noted she couldn’t comment due to patient confidentiality. Stiles added that the hospital can not refuse care because it’s against the law.

“That’s against the law. We can never do that,” Stiles said. “If that was true, we would have to be dealing with the consequences of that because that’s not allowed.”

Since the incident, Vega has contacted the hospital’s Patient Relations department to file a complaint. She is also sending a letter to the corporate office.

“They said they were going to open an investigation, but I just feel like I’m not getting anywhere with them,” Vega said.


9 thoughts on “Local Mom Claims Hospital Refused to Care for 4-Year-Old Daughter

  1. It doesn’t matter if it’s first come first serve. That head registered nut…that’s what RN means, should have at least triaged the girl to determine if it was an emergency. The hospital faces actionable charges, and the registered nut needs to be fired PDQ.

  2. I hate to say it but it sounds like we are all going to have to find friendly medical in advance. What i mean by that is what or where are we going to go in case of emergencies from now on. Since we are all living in a Bloomberg utopia now, where only the rich eat and live normally, having emergency outs is imperative.

    We need to find out who will be friendly to us medically way in advance, just sayin’. This shit has gotten that bad and will only get worse. Learn how to do stitches and what not medically from now on. Have a damn good medical kit at home and find some good antibiotics from a friendly doctor etc. Learn how to give shots and so forth.

    Nobody gives a damn about us anymore. Learn the basics, even learn how to set bones etc. Sounds gruesome but Jesus H Christ, what the hell else are we supposed to do?

    1. I don’t know about everyone, but the VA here in Salt Lake has been spot-on with me. Only problem is that you do have to push them a little to get certain things done…I’m glad I have it. As far as learning to stitch, fracture reduction, and shots, that’s not hard to learn and would would be a very good thing to know..as well as sterilization techniques…betadine topical sterilization to control infection.

          1. It’s been a nightmare. The staff and patients have been divided between the Bronx and Brooklyn. Lots of confusion, over crowding, miscommunication, etc. There’s also been problems, resentment, and fighting among the staff. We are all called “the Refugees.” Even in the best of times, they bring in new (Green) interns every 2 months and you have to start from scratch. “So, tell me, why are you here?” What hurts?” I could go on, but I’m afraid my post would be Book length.

          2. That is a bad situation…with all the chaos, there’s is no patient care to speak of. I suppose you would have to travel to a VA cntr that has not been affected and that’s bad as well. If you ever need to see an MD quick, go to their ER, it beats scheduling an appointment that can take a long time…especially with the situation where you are. With regard to medical staff asking questions, that’s normal. They all do it…I know this because I spent 15 years in the medical field.

  3. You were not there. WTF are you saying. Listen to yourself… I spent most of life in the medical field and you cannot make such a statement based on what you read here.

  4. I don’t have a primary doctor. I also do not have medical insurance.
    I can’t get medical care. I can’t afford it. I just hope I don’t drop dead, but on the other hand, I may live longer bc I heard that you catch things from hospitals.

    plus, more people die from malpractice every year, than from wars.
    so, what are you going to do? I’ve known people that can’t stay away from their doctor. they are always on some pill or another. seems like if they get you on one pill, they got you on twenty.

    they even got my dog on five pills, twice a day for all kinds of ailments of an old dog.

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