HAINES CITY, FLA. – A Haines City mom is suing a local hospital for severing part of her infant's finger.
Veronica Olguin says she went to Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in October of last year because her 3-month-old daughter Selena had a high fever she couldn't break.
Selena stayed there for two days. Olguin says on the third day, as she was being released, a nurse was removing the tape that attached the IV.
"They were taking her IV off with scissors and she obviously wasn't looking where she was cutting, so she cut off her finger," Olguin recalled.
Veronica was holding her daughter and saw as the scissors cut into her, not realizing what she was seeing at first.
"I realized it because there was blood everywhere. It was all over her shirt, it was on my shirt. It was on my face. I held her face close to my chest. She was red, she was screaming," Olguin continued.
About half of Selena's pinky on her left hand was cut off.
Olguin is now suing Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center. Her attorney, Lou Pendas of Tampa, says the nurse and the hospital were negligent.
"The nurse threw the scissors used to sever the pinky in a panic. She rushed out of the room, screaming, and that's when the doctors rushed back into the room," Pendas said.
The finger was found on the floor and the infant was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. But the nerves were too small, and the veins too little to reattach it.
Olguin says she still has nightmares.
"I saw everything. And it's really hard what I went through. And I can't imagine what she went through," she said.
Olguin says her daughter wakes up in the middle of the night, crying too.
Pendas says he has spoken to attorneys for the hospital, and at first, they were receptive.
"They responded, saying they were interested in getting together and seeing exactly what can be done. And that was the end of it. Unfortunately, they haven't returned any other phone calls," Pendas said.
Pendas said they had no choice but to file a lawsuit. He did receive a letter from the hospital 10 days ago, saying they received the complaint.
FOX 13 spoke to Richards Ford with Wicker Smith out of Orlando, which represents the hospital. He says the nurse is back at the hospital, but he couldn't say whether she was working with patients or not.
He says the hospital has looked at their policies and procedures. He also says this accident has been investigated by a number of people.
Ford released this statement from the hospital:
"An unfortunate accident occurred at our hospital while an experienced nurse was removing bandages from the tip of a child's finger. We rushed the child to a hand specialist, but unfortunately the tip of the finger could not be reattached. We deeply regret the harm to the child and want to reiterate our compassion and concern for her and her family. We reached out right away to the child's family and their attorney, but have not been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. We want to reiterate our compassion and concern for the child and her family."
He says they have tried to resolve the matter with the family, but they could not come to terms.
Olguin worries about her daughter's future, in school and playing sports, and how other children might tease her.
"It's really hard that she, she was born so perfect. And they just, they just cut off her finger," she added.