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Bronx Girl, 3, May Have HIV After Needle Accident

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A three-year-old could have HIV after she was accidentally pricked with a needle at a Bronx hospital.

She’s the light of her family’s life, but now three-year-old Hailey Rodriguez is living a nightmare, and so is her mother, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

“She doesn’t want to eat, she doesn’t want to play, she can’t be around her friends, because they all think she’s contagious,” Hailey’s mother, Nadia Maklad, said.

They believe she’s contagious because something went horribly wrong when the toddler was at a doctor’s office, part of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Her family said that inside the office, while the doctor was asking the mother questions and the grandmother had gone to the restroom, Hailey reached inside an open, unsecured medical waste bin sitting on the floor – and pricked herself twice.

“She had blood on her stomach and blood on her hand,” Maklad said. “I asked my daughter what happened, and she walked me over to the bin.”

“This should have never been on the floor. These are the kinds of boxes that should be on the wall,” the family’s attorney, Manhattan attorney Susan Karten, said.

Karten said Montefiore was negligent, and now Hailey is suffering. She’s on a cocktail of AZT medication, used to treat HIV, while the other worry is hepatitis. At this point, nothing can be ruled out.

“The cover was not secure, number one; the box was on the floor, number two; and the area where the needle is supposed to be secured and put in – so nobody can put their hand in – was broken,” Karten said.

Within seconds, Hailey was taken out of the doctor’s office and to Montefiore’s emergency room for immediate care. Since then, though, the family’s lawyer hasn’t been so responsive.

“We want an independent, highly qualified infectious disease specialist from another hospital,” Karten said.

That’s something that Montefiore has not provided. Instead, the hospital has given the family one month’s supply of medication, though it could be six months before Hailey’s out of the woods.

The hospital released the following statement: “We’ve been consulting with the family regarding the incident, and working with them to see that appropriate care is provided.”

That has so far included requesting the family come back for follow-ups – follow-ups at the same facility where Hailey was hurt.

“She’s scared of needles now, she doesn’t even want to go to the doctor anymore,” Maklad said.

She has to go somewhere, though, until Hailey and her family know for sure that the dirty needle that pricked her was, in the end, clean.

The next six months will be critical for Hailey. It’s an incubation period where she’ll continue the AZT cocktail and undergo regular testing to see if any tests come up positive.

  • General

    While I believe the place in which care for this family is at fault, this child’s life is not over. HIV is treated effectively these days and this little girl can go on and live a happy healthy life. The ignorance of friends and family about HIV is shameful. Education is going to be key if this child has contracted the virus and even more education to those who are ignorant of the disease.

  • Nat

    Dante, I hardly think going through a bin of used needles counts as, “going through other people’s stuff.” This was not her mother’s jewelry box, it was a bin of used needles that should have been properly contained, as per state regulations -which this was not.

  • Tee

    Tee, Bottom line is that this none of us would want to be in this family’s situation. The hospital is at fault. They are responsible to keep the bin safe and out of reach. Anyone could have tripped and fallen into it as well. Show a little compassion. Dante, it sounds like you have issues that you need to resolve. Whether or not this mother taught her child not to touch things that aren’t hers, haven’t we all disobeyed at some time in our life. Mom may have been focused on the conversation with the Dr. We should all only hope everything turns out ok for the family. As far as filing a lawsuit, the lawers are running our country now and we have allowed this, it’s not the mom’s fault if she sues the hospital, everybody else is sueing everyone now,,,it’s horrible…

  • chris

    she’s probably an illegal to boot. free medical care now sueing instead of watching her anchor baby.

  • Laurie

    How is it that a child of 3 and her friends understands HIV and contagious disease? Now they don’t want to have anything to do with her. Sounds more like the mother and the mother’s attorney is driving an already tragic situation and doing more damage to the child by playing it up in a big way for a big payout. “Independent, highly qualified infectious disease specialist” spare me the obvious grab. She MAY have HIV, she MAY have Hepatitis, she MAY have a lot of things. but she definately has an attorney.. Tort reforem, tort reform, tort reform.

  • jd

    and who ends up paying the lawsuit money?? We do.
    Really. She should have been watching her child.

  • Talaya Harrington

    This is a sad story. I am a mother of 5 ages 14 to 3. I always watch my children. The mother was in the room with the little girl talking to the dr. So she is suing the hospital because you can’t talk to the dr and watch your child at the same time. So your telling me a mother and grandmother walked into a the room and didn’t notice a bin of needles on the floor in the room. I think the mother should analyize the WHOLE situation before suing the hospital.

  • hl

    So it’s okay to turn your back on a child in a room you know has sharp objects, glass jars, medication, metal tables, expensive equipment, etc.? I do feel very sorry for this young girl, but the parents are just as much at fault as the doctor.

  • jd

    Isn’t there a way they could just test the needles right away? It makes me crazy that when I’m waiting in a dr’s office the children are just running all over the place and throwing things.

  • Sam

    It’s oblivious Dan Te you don’t have any children. You can teach a child not to touch but that doesn’t mean a curious three year old will obey your command. This is so much bigger – it’s about a Health Care facility not following proper procedure in providing a healthy and safe environment for their patients and now the life of three year old may be in jeopardy – have some compassion.

    • DanTe

      Obviously no, “Sam”, I’m not a parent like you people. The human children (aged 3 to 4) that I calmly explain the niceties of privacy to, manage to understand well enough. The human children understands that if they keep going through people’s stuff, they don’t get invited back. It is amazing how intelligent human children are when compared to yours.

  • DanTe

    Yet another “concerned” parent that never taught their spawns to not go through other people’s stuff. Politeness doesn’t enter into the equation with these people.

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