Women & Children's Hospital failed to report a case of suspected child abuse against an 11-month-old girl, resulting in a second beating that put the baby back in the hospital again, a state Health Department investigation has concluded.
The state Health Department also ordered the hospital to take corrective steps so suspected abuse is promptly reported from now on.
"The facility did not ensure compliance with New York State law reporting procedure for child abuse," according to a report released to The Buffalo News.
"Although a number of medical staff documented that they suspected the injury may have been the result of abuse, a report to Child Protective Services was not made and the child was sent back home with her parents only to return to the hospital 10 days later with additional injuries," the Health Department finding states.
The state's investigation into the hospital's actions comes after Antuan Jordan, 24, of Springville, was arrested in December for the attacks on his baby girl.
In November, Jordan's daughter spent five days at Women & Children's with a head injury. Jordan denied harming the little girl, and the pediatrician could not rule out a rare blood disorder as the cause of her hemorrhaging. So the child was released back to her parents.
Ten days later, however, the girl was back at Women & Children's with new injuries, including a blow to her right eye that may permanently impair her vision.
This time authorities were notified, Jordan was arrested and the little girl and her brother were put under the care of their maternal great-grandmother.
In fact, by this time, tests from the baby's first visit ruled out a blood disease, leaving doctors to determine the hemorrhaging was caused when someone yanked on the infant's hair.
Authorities later said both attacks on the little girl occurred when Jordan was alone watching his children in the East Main Street apartment he shared with their mother, who was working at the time.
The News filed a freedom of information request to obtain the Health Department report, which was heavily blacked out.
Women & Children's on Tuesday released a statement about the Health Department's investigation and report.
"In every case, both abuse-related causes and non-abuse-related causes must be thoroughly considered in determining whether a case is reportable," the statement reads. "Some cases are clearly more challenging than others, especially in circumstances when the clinical findings are consistent with a condition that is not the result of abuse or neglect."
The hospital, however, said it has made corrective steps.
While hospital officials did not elaborate, the Health Department report indicates staff from Women & Children's have received additional training when it comes to reporting child abuse.
The report also reveals that suspected child abuse cases are being more closely assessed and monitored by the Emergency Department's medical director. In addition, posters reminding hospital staff about reporting child abuse and neglect are being displayed in strategic locations around the hospital.
"While mindful of our important responsibility, we are always seeking ways to improve the care provided our patients," the hospital's statement reads. "Thereby, a plan of correction submitted by Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and approved by the New York State Department of Health related to this case has been implemented."
Jordan on March 9 pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault for the beating of his daughter.
He is scheduled to be sentenced April 12 before Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case.
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