Nurse suspended after 5 infants suffer fractures, bruises: report

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Five infants suffered serious injuries -- including a fractured skull, rib and arm -- in the newborn unit of a Wisconsin hospital, resulting in the suspension of the nurse who cared for them, a federal agency said in a report.

UnityPoint Health-Meriter hospital in Madison didn’t respond to the suspected abuse until early last month, when staff noticed two babies with bruises, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

An internal investigation revealed two similar cases last year and one from January.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was so concerned about the hospital’s response that it threatened to cancel its Medicare contract with Meriter, the newspaper reported, citing a report from the federal agency.

"The immediate jeopardy began on April 12, 2017 when the facility failed to protect and thoroughly investigate the first report of an injury of unknown origin" to one of the patients, the report said, according to WISC-TV. 

Staff in the 42-bed unit first noticed bruising on an infant's arm Feb. 2, according to the inspection report. A doctor thought it might have resulted from the baby clutching wires or an IV device.

The next day, staff noticed bruising on an arm and wrist of another baby. A doctor thought it might be from a tightly wrapped blanket.

Additionally, staff saw bruising on the second baby’s face Feb. 4, and three days later they discovered a lump on the baby’s head. A CT scan Feb. 8 showed the baby had skull and arm fractures.

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