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01 October 2023

Newborn loses fingertip at hospital


A newborn had one of her fingertips cut off at a Guam hospital while being treated for a high fever.

Pacific Daily News reported Thursday that the baby’s mother, Johanna Borja of Tamuning, says the cut was discovered as nurses were changing bandages securing an intravenous line. But Borja says the nurses didn’t give her a clear explanation of what happened.

Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Joseph Verga confirmed the incident but told the newspaper he can’t provide details because it’s an open investigation.

“We’re taking this situation very seriously, the same way we handle all … concerns raised,” Verga said. “We’ll take very strong, appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation.”

Borja brought her 2-week-old daughter to the hospital Dec. 17 with a fever of 100.1 degrees, she said. The cut to the baby’s right pinky apparently happened Dec. 19, after she asked nurses to replace the baby’s bandages because one was bleeding and was taped in a way that scratched the baby if she touched her face.

Borja said she and her boyfriend waited nearly one hour for the bandages to be changed before she walked into the exam room and was met by the baby’s doctor.

“She told us, ‘Your daughter’s pinky has been cut,’” Borja said.

The cut sliced off the baby’s fingernail, running diagonally from the top of the fingertip to near the top knuckle.

Borja says nurses told her the baby didn’t lose any bone, but didn’t offer an explanation despite her repeated demands for answers.

“They just kept saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Borja said two surgeons were called in and said it was too late to try to reattach the fingertip. She said they weren’t able to determine exactly when the finger was cut.

Borja said she has not heard from the hospital, but has filed a police report and hired a lawyer.

“I’m very angry,” she said.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)