To Whom It May Concern:
On 3/27/13 my 2 year old son, William Assad, was treated in the Emergency Room at North Shore University Hospital at Manhasset. He suffered second and third degree burns on 16 percent of his body covering his face, neck, chest and bilateral arms. Among the procedures performed were a foley catheter. This procedure was necessary given the severity of his burns, but it is a very uncomfortable and invasive procedure for a young child already in pain even when performed perfectly. The first time it was done improperly. Then it was taken out and reinserted. While the nurse or doctor who performed this procedure noted there was no fluid coming out as it should have been, they were convinced it had been done correctly. Still, I noticed my son's continued discomfort from this area as its location was obviously separate from the pain involving the burns to his upper body. The pain from his groin area seemed significantly worse than that of the burns and this was after several doses of morphine. I asked that the foley catheter be checked and while I was continually told it was "fine" I was persistent and finally a sonogram was done to ensure its proper placement (or as it seemed at the time - simply to keep me quiet). The sonogram technician gave confirmation that it was done correctly so from this point forward, my complaints that something was still wrong due to my son's discomfort and instinct as a mother went ignored and we were transferred to Nassau University Medical Center's Burn Unit (NUMC) where he was admitted for treatment.
When the attending doctor at NUMC was reviewing our case, he noticed that while there was an IV of fluids entering my son's body, after several hours the bag that showed what was coming out was completely empty. Coupled with the my son's continued complaints about discomfort in the groin area, it wasn't long before the doctor decided to attempt the foley catheter a third time and in doing so discovered that the second foley catheter inserted at North Shore Manhasset had been done so improperly that the balloon was not even inflated. While I was obviously enraged that the doctors and nurses at your hospital not only messed up the procedure itself twice, then misdiagnosed the "check" and failed to listen to my complaints and rectify this situation, I was relieved that the foley was finally done correctly at NUMC as afterwards for the first time since the incident had occurred my son was for the time being, out of discomfort.
The next day my son underwent a procedure in the OR at NUMC that covered his burns with a treatment called Oasis. This greatly helped with his pain in the burn areas. However, he continued to show discomfort in his groin area and was unable to sleep as every hour or so he was seizing awake in excruciating pain. I pushed to have the foley catheter removed and the doctors agreed that they would weigh his diapers in lieu of this to ensure adequate urine output. Still, with the catheter out for over 24 hours the seizures of excruciating pain continued and it was soon discovered that he in fact had developed a Urinary Tract Infection.
After days of terrible pain, the antibiotics finally helped him. Now that we are home from the hospital, I remember the UTI pain as worse than the burn pain. This is no doubt a result of a procedure gone wrong TWICE at your hospital and I'll hold you three times responsible for this as the sonogram also improperly diagnosed the situation. Do you think this is something that a 2 year old already traumatized by burns should have had to endure?
As I stare at the $75.00 balance on my account with you that my insurance did not cover I cannot bring myself to give you a single penny for the extra pain and stress your hospital's incompetent care caused my 2 year old son. At this point, I want my fee waived. I also think that my insurance company should not be billed for payment for the two failed foley catheter procedures or the sonogram that misdiagnosed the second incorrect placement. Further, I want a case opened to research this matter so that all parties involved are notified of their failure in care in hopes that a situation as such does not happen to another child in your Emergency Room. I expect that this matter will be fully addressed in a timely fashion, and that I will not need to be in contact with my attorneys at this time.
Alicia Assad - Mother of William Assad