The University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee, has come under fire after doctors reportedly performed an unnecessary oral surgery on a newborn baby. According to CNN, the Melton family welcomed their son, Nate, on December 16. Shortly after his birth, he was whisked away by nurses to undergo what his parents thought was a routine checkup. As expected, the couple was excited when their son returned, but things didn’t go as expected. Unfortunately, the momentous occasion was tainted after Jennifer Melton was informed of a procedure her son had undergone without her consent.
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) February 11, 2016
When the nurse returned, she began discussing a procedure known as frenulectomy, an outpatient procedure performed to clip the bottom of the tongue, according to ABC News. Jennifer was initially confused about the conversation, but she soon realized why the nurse was explaining the procedure to her. Jennifer realized what doctors had done to her newborn son and she began crying hysterically.
“The nurse started to mention the procedure they had done that they had clipped his tongue,” Melton told WTVF News.
During an interview with ABC News, Jennifer Melton shared her reaction to learning of the troubling procedure her son had undergone as a result of a mix-up.
“It’s so frustrating that a moment that should have been so happy and joyous for us was ruined with this event,” she said.
She also noted that the doctor offered to explain what occurred. Apparently, the attending doctor detailed the mix-up in his notes. He explained that he’d spoken with “the parents of a different child” before performing the procedure.
“I had asked for the wrong infant. I had likely performed the procedure on an infant different than the one I intended to… and I admitted my mistake and apologized,” the doctor wrote.
He also offered an apology for the mix-up, but that’s definitely not enough for the Melton family. It has also been reported that the doctor admitted that he was responsible for the medical mishap. According to WTVF News, the family’s attorney, Clint Kelly, has released a brief statement about the doctor’s actions.
“It’s recklessness. There’s no excuse for cutting on a healthy child. There’s no excuse for mixing up babies at a hospital,” Kelly said.
University Medical Center has released a brief statement about the ordeal. Although the hospital’s spokesman could not address specific details about the incident due to federal privacy regulations, it has been revealed that the hospital is hoping to resolve the issue in a timely fashion.
— CNN (@CNN) February 10, 2016
“University Medical Center is committed to providing quality care to all of our patients and expect independent members of the medical staff to honor the appropriate directives of their patients and families,” said Adam Groshans, a spokesman for University Medical Center. “Due to federal privacy regulations, we are unable to comment on any specific patient. However, we can confirm that we take seriously any concerns brought to our attention, and those matters are reviewed pursuant to the hospital’s medical staff by-laws. If made aware of a concern, we promptly seek to address it and take action as appropriate to prevent any future concerns.”
The family’s attorney has revealed that the Melton family does plan to file a lawsuit against the hospital for the wreckless procedure. At this point, Nate’s future is unknown because it will take some time to determine whether he will have developmental complications.
“We don’t know if the child will have speech problems or eating problems,” Kelly said. “The concern here is this was a healthy baby that was supposed to leave the hospital, but instead was harmed by the hospital.”
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