Boy Dies After Fever Tops 107 Degrees Under Heating Blanket at Pennsylvania Hospital, District Attorney Reviews Case

Prosecutor reviewing fever death at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

A Pennsylvania prosecutor is reviewing the death of a 6-year-old boy whose temperature topped 107 degrees while he was under a special heating blanket at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in January.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health last week announced it cited the hospital, saying there are no records that the boy's temperature was taken during a 10-hour period, and because the hospital didn't report the "serious event" until 77 days later. Such incidents are supposed to be reported within 24 hours.

The hospital has launched its own investigation and taken corrective steps, but Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico wants to review the incident. He stopped short of calling that a full-blown investigation.

The boy, who had other health issues, had a below-normal temperature and was put under the blanket, called a "Bair Hugger," to raise his temperature, the hospital said.

In a statement posted to its website, Penn State Health says this situation "raised serious concerns:"

"As an organization that holds itself accountable for providing the highest quality care while protecting the safety of patients, employees and visitors, we recognize this situation as an unacceptable failure. We expect more of ourselves as a system and as individuals committed to the highest standards of care for each person we serve. We have responded with the utmost of focus and determination to do better. During the DOH on-site investigation, we immediately developed a corrective plan of action for each issue identified. Just as importantly, we launched our own investigation to determine what happened, how it happened and how to prevent it from ever occurring again."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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