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Family sues hospital after 6-year-old girl who died from flu was discharged prematurely, reports say

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Posted at 5:23 AM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 05:23:53-05

The parents of a six-year-old girl who died from the flu in 2018 have filed a lawsuit against the hospital that they say discharged her prematurely, CBS News reports.

Nevaeh Hernandez died on February 12, 2018, CBS News reports, after being sent home from Hoboken University Medical Center, CarePoint Health, in New Jersey.

According to attorney Francisco Rodriguez, the family brought Hernandez to the hospital for headaches and a fever. The kindergartner was then tested for the flu using the rapid flu test, Rodriguez said, but the rapid test came back negative because it does not test for the H1N1 fflulu — the strain that Hernandez had, reports say.

At the time of her death, Hernandez was the second child in New Jersey to die from that year's H1N1 flu epidemic, CBS New York reports.

According to Rodriguez, the flu test was an "appropriate" response, however, the hospital only checked the girl's vital signs once, and did not recheck her heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure before sending her home.

"Our expert says that it was a deviation from the standard of care (1) to send Nevaeh home without first checking her vitals before discharge and that her vitals would have dictated keeping her in the hospital," Rodriguez told CBS News. "These vital signs would likely have been sufficiently abnormal such that they would have needed to keep her in the hospital."

Twelve hours after being sent home, the girl spiked a fever of 106 degrees and was taken by an ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center, according to Rodriguez. The six-year-old suffered a massive seizure on the way.

CarePoint Health declined to comment to NJ.com, citing pending litigation, and did not respond to a request for comment from CBS News.