Kaiser blamed for death of Filipino infant

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 23, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. – More than 50 registered nurses of the California Nurses Association held a vigil outside Kaiser’s regional office to remember the life of Jenevieve Dagatan who would have turned one yesterday.

They blame Kaiser for the Filipino infant’s death in April.

Jenevieve was reportedly checked into the ER at Kaiser Hayward following a seizure and high fever.

A few hours later, the hospital, which now does not have a pediatric unit, sent her home.

Several days later Jenevieve was back in the hospital.

After finally being transferred to another Kaiser hospital, Jenevieve lost her life.

“Not only did I lose a baby now my son has to wake up without a sister,” said Jenevieve’s mother Andrea Olguin. “I just don’t want this to happen to somebody else.”

Kaiser closed the Hayward pediatrics unit in November 2013 which made families in Alameda County have to travel to Oakland to get their children treated.

“Even before they did that we had told Kaiser that it might be catastrophic to close that pediatric unit in November but they went ahead and closed the unit and closed the hospital all together,” said registered nurse Zenei Cortez of CNA.

Kaiser officials said its reason to centralize treatment in Oakland was because the Hayward pediatric unit only saw an average of four patients a day.

Officials also say that the Kaiser Hayward could not have remained open past the new year because of new state seismic requirements for hospitals.

But these nurses say the hospital is putting profit over patients.

“They never informed me as a paying customer that they’re taking out units,” said Olguin. “I had to find out after my daughter passed away.”

In a statement from Tom Hanenburg, Senior Vice President and Area Manager of Kaiser, he says that the hospital took the Olguin family’s claims seriously and that’s why it held an investigation.

He says that an extensive investigation of this case found the care to be “appropriate and sound”.

Hanenburg goes on to say that CNA is using Jenevieve’s death to make allegations about Kaiser’s quality of care and patient safety because they are in the middle of contract negotiations.

The nurses union was reportedly informed that Kaiser has reached out to Jenevieve’s family for a possible settlement.

“I would think it would be a financial settlement but that’s not what they want,” said Cortez. “What they want is to keep the pediatrics unit open in the new facilities that’s in San Leandro and in doing that no more kids will be in harm. No more babies will die.”

Another vigil was scheduled in the evening at San Leandro Kaiser where there is a pediatrics clinic but no inpatient hospital for children. Nurses there say that the clinic doesn’t provide sufficient services for young patients suffering from serious illnesses.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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