Baby suffers serious burns at Mercy Medical Center Merced

May 24, 2012 (MERCED, Calif.)

Lylah Rose Payne-Quezada went to the hospital for stomach problems and left with third-degree burns.

Lylah Rose's parents cherish happy moments even more since their baby girl suffered a painful burn to her hand while being treated at Mercy Medical Center Merced.

"As a parent you know your child's cries, and when she was being burned she was screaming," Lylah's mother, Tiffany Payne said. "I knew it was a cry of pain."

Lylah's parents brought her to the emergency room in March with stomach problems. A blood test showed the 2-month-old was dehydrated, so nurses tried to start an IV. But after several failed attempts, one of them put a light in Lylah's hand to help find her vein.

"Actually that light is never supposed to touch human skin, and they put it in the baby's palm and they wrapped the baby's hand around it for eight minutes as it just burned through her flesh," said attorney Moseley Collins.

Lylah's parents finally told the nurses to stop and took her to Children's Hospital Central California.

"When they took the tape off her left hand it had blistered up, the burn did stick to the tape, so when they took it off it just ripped everything," Payne said.

Lylah has since had a skin graft, and her parents say she faces many more surgeries in the future. She must also endure painful hand massages several times a day.

Mercy Medical Center released a statement saying safety and patient care are always its highest priorities and that, "We are working with the family to ensure Lylah's needs are met, and she and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers."

But the family is still moving forward with a lawsuit.

"They're asking the hospital to pay for the damage they've done. And I think that's fair," Collins said. "I think it's fair to hold people accountable for the damage they do."

Lylah's parents also want others to know it's OK to speak up if you think your child is in pain, even at a hospital, a lesson they learned too late.

"I wish I could take all the pain away from her," Payne said.

Dignity Health, which operates Mercy Medical, sent a letter to the family's attorney acknowledging nurses used an unapproved light on Lylah and apologizing for the burn.

The attorney says he has not yet determined how much money the family will be seeking.

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