6-Year-Old Dies of the Flu After Hospital Sent Her Home With a 104-Degree Fever


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Flu season has been ravaging the country for months, resulting in the tragic and surprising deaths of more than 60 children this year. Six-year-old Nevaeh Hernandez has become the latest child to succumb to the illness. While her family mourns her death, they are also searching for answers from the hospital that sent her home with a fever of 104 degrees, and warning other parents of the dangerous effects a lack of proper medical care can have on kids' lives.

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According to CBS New York, the family's attorney Louis Zayas told reporters at a press conference that 6-year-old Nevaeh Hernandez began suffering from headaches after she came home from school last Friday afternoon. Her mother, emergency medical technician Stephanie Conteron, gave the little girl some medicine and assumed she would get better. By Friday evening, Conteron noticed her daughter's health was deteriorating, causing her to develop a fever. That same night, Conteron took Hernandez to Hoboken University Medical Center in Hoboken, New Jersey, to be checked out. 

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The family was forced to wait three hours before being seen by a nurse and a physician's assistant. Medical staff ran strep throat and flu tests on the child, both of which came back negative. Zayas claims they then sent the little girl home, despite her having a high fever.


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The child's condition continued to worsen, and after her fever spiked to 105 on Saturday, her family took her to Hackensack University Hospital. Even though the 6-year-old received a flu shot in December, doctors diagnosed her with the H1N1 strain of the flu less than an hour after she arrived. Shortly after, she suffered four seizures and slipped into a coma, where she stayed until she died on Monday.

Hernandez's grandmother Sandra Rivera is now speaking out to advise parents not to leave the hospital until they feel satisfied that their children have been properly taken care of. "Only a parent knows how your child is feeling," she said during the press conference. "Stay there, request whatever you need. Ask for a doctor, [say] 'I don't feel right, I'm not going anywhere,' because we feel [Nevaeh's] death could have been prevented."

NJ.com reports that CarePoint Health, the company that operates Hoboken University Medical Center, released a statement saying that it is fully cooperating with the state's mandatory review of health records and lab testing. "We join the entire Hudson County community in mourning the tragic death of Nevaeh Hernandez," said spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends. While privacy laws strictly prohibit our commenting on individual patient conditions, testing, or treatments, Hoboken University Medical Center meticulously follows all CDC guidelines and protocol related to the flu or possible flu cases."

Meanwhile, attorney Louis Zayas says the family is still deciding whether or not they intend to file a lawsuit against Hoboken University Medical Center.

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"The reason for this conference is not to talk about whether she could have survived had she been properly diagnosed," Zayas said. "The purpose of this conference is to let parents know how deadly this strain of the flu is."

Stephanie Conteron told reporters that while she is in mourning, she wants to remember her little girl as the "sassy, intelligent" child she was. "She would knock on the door while I was in the bathroom, telling me that she loves me, and then coming back five minutes later to tell me she loves me and ask if I'm okay in there," the mother recalled. 

Nevaeh Hernandez will be laid to rest on Saturday, February 17. In an effort to help cover medical expenses, the funeral service, and memorial costs, her family has created a GoFundMe campaign

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