Friday, July 9 2010 9:29 PM EDT2010-07-10 02:29:15 GMT
8 News NOW is learning new details about some potentially life-threatening troubles at Sunrise Children's Hospital. The problems began five months ago when staff discovered a spike in disrupted catheters used for specialized procedures on infants and children. The disruptions sparked a full-fledged investigation.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- The Nevada Nursing Board has suspended the licenses of two nurses linked to a criminal investigation going on at Sunrise Hospital. The investigation is trying to find out what caused more than a dozen catheter "disruptions" in the facility's neo-natal intensive care unit.
According to documents, two nurses are persons of interest in the on-going criminal investigation involving Sunrise. The suspension order issued by the nursing board Friday notes the two workers, Sharon Ochoa-Reyes and Jessica Rice, are accused of intentionally harming patients at the facility. Neither woman has been charged with a crime.
The investigation is being conducted by Las Vegas police's homicide division and centers around more than a dozen catheter disruptions at the hospital's NICU. Catheters are used as a means to draw blood or to deliver medication or nutrition.
According to the hospital, two newborns were injured as a result of the disruptions. One remains in critical condition and the other, who underwent a corrective surgery, has been discharged.
The hospital refuses to provide any information regarding the nature of the injuries or any specifics as to what exactly is alleged to occur, so it is still unclear what the disruption means exactly -- whether the catheter was disconnected, clogged or even cut.
Metro is also remaining tight-lipped about the investigation.
According to the board's website, Ochoa-Reyes has been licensed in Nevada since 1991 and Rice since 2006. Neither have been disciplined previously.
Sunrise refuses to say how long the nurses worked at the hospital, so there is no way of knowing how many patients they may have come into contact with.
An attorney for Reyes was reached for comment. He declined because he is out of town and wants to review the allegations against his client. We were unable to reach Rice.
In the interest of full disclosure, Reporter Colleen McCarty's children spent some time in the NCIU at Sunrise.
For parents with concerns, the hospital has set up a hotline at 1-888-594-6836.
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