Florida Mom Sues Hospital After Nurse Cuts Off Daughter’s Pinky Finger

HAINES CITY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — A Florida mother is suing the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center after a nurse cut off her infant daughter’s pinky finger.

The incident happened last October when Selena Olguin was admitted to the hospital for an upper respiratory infection. On the third day when she was about to be released, a nurse was trying to cut off the tape that was attached to her IV. However, she severed the 3-month-old girl’s pinky finger instead.

“I realized it because there was blood everywhere,” Veronica Olguin, the girl’s mother, told WTVT-TV. “It was all over her shirt, it was on my shirt. It was on my face. I held her face close to my chest. She was red, she was screaming,”

The girl was airlifted to Tampa General Florida where surgeons were unable to reattach the pinky finger.

Now, Olguin is suing the hospital and the nurse for what happened to her daughter.

“We’ve got mother who gave birth to a perfect baby and now she lives with the realization that her child went through an extremely traumatic event,” attorney Lou Pendas told CBS Tampa.

According to Pendas, the nurse ran out of the room after cutting off Selena’s pinky, yelling, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Pendas said this case is not about monetary compensation but how a little girl will deal with the limitations she has been dealt in the future.

“(Veronica) worries about explaining to the baby how this happened, worried about telling the child what happened,” Pendas told CBS Tampa.

An attorney for the hospital called the incident an “unfortunate accident.”

“We deeply regret the harm to the child and want to reiterate our compassion and concern for her and her family,” attorney Richards Ford said in a statement to CBS Tampa. “We reached out right away to the child’s family and their attorney, but have not been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.”

Pendas said he wants the hospital and nurse to take responsibility for what happened.

“This is a clear liability. I don’t know what their defense will be.”

  • DaveIn84

    “Pendas said this case is not about monetary compensation” – yeah Lou, right.
    Hospital does need sued on this one but a freakin’ lawyer claiming its not about the money? Give me a break

    • Ned Kelly

      How much money do you think the case will settle for?

      • Jim Dea

        I think a digit should be worth a mil. Then there is the pain and suffering and trauma that could mess up the child mentally. And last of all, the limited mobility the child will have for the rest of her life along with the emotional abuse she may have to face growing up with cruel kids and all getting crueler all the time. This kind of makes me angry that the nurse would be that careless with an infant’s hand. Think about it. How much more resistance would the scissors meet when they closed on a finger (albeit a small finger) compared to a bandage. She should have known she was cutting the finger. That nurse was negligent. I wonder if it was her own child if she would have been that negligent. These are all things to consider but I think 2 million would be a far settlement.

      • Jim Dea

        I mean fair settlement

      • StopTheNonsense

        Just another made up story given the names and details. Unelected officials took over Washington and the media after the coup and cover up. Even most of the comments online are financed with your tax dollars. Big brother is trying to create the perception of public opinion while burying the truth. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.

        Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in world history before it disappears forever.

      • Smokey the Bear

        zero, because it’s the daily made-up fake story.

      • John Moser

        Stopthespam, stopthenonsense.

      • Dave Turner

        There should be some monetary settlement but the nurse should be prevented from working in that field ever again.

    • The Clintidote

      Any time a lawyer says “it’s not about the money”, it’s about …… well, you know.

      Hint: it’s not about an apology.

    • AAA

      It really isn’t about money, because it just doesn’t matter what the hospital says in its defense, the woman is going to clean their clocks, period!!! I’d be more worried about my child as well. I’d be damned heartbroken! The money….it’s comin regardless!! You can bet your ass on that!!

    • http://stopthetsa.wordpress.com stopthetsa

      Anyone surprised? Nurses are overworked. They have too many patients and work too many hours. A twelve hour shift is too long.

    • ski

      You think this is bad, wait till Obama care kicks in! YIKES

  • http://theirbatedbreath.wordpress.com daviddrobbins

    Gotta agree with you in a way DaveIn84. This hospital needs to compensate the mother and child in a big way. But I hate how greedy attorneys muddy the water by making the argument like this: “(Veronica) worries about explaining to the baby how this happened, worried about telling the child what happened.” Ridiculous. Just say the hospital cut off the child’s finger. Enough said. They need to pay.

  • JR

    Whoops! No that was in bad taste. In all seriousness this is extremely unfortunate for this family. Best wishes to them. It’s just lucky it was a pinky, the least useful finger and not her whole hand. Accidents happen and this nurse should be canned. Best of luck to you and always remember don’t be afraid to tell her what happened to her hand. Informing her of an accident means she’ll be must less likely to be self conscious and ashamed. Hopefully they emphasize the things she CAN still do rather than limitations.

    • hrk3rd

      It is a tragedy for all. Sadly it reminds me of an electric cirsumcision that went completely wrong. You can probably guess. After he grew up he approached that doctor with a loaded gun, as I recall the doctor hung his head and waited to be shot. He never was. This poor kid had been hounded and abused all his life as well because he lacked one part of his body.

      • Jim Dea

        I was waiting for the punch line!! Where’s the punch line???

      • JMP

        The victim’s name was David Reimer. The real story is much worse than what you’ve summarized — David’s parents were persuaded by another mad doctor, John Money, to raise the boy as a girl. Google David Reimer and read the incredible story.


    The little girl cannot play a piano properly for life. I’d say they owe her about $10 million dollars. It’s disgusting and I hope they sue that nurse also.

    • aggiemara

      She won’t be able to play a lot of musical instruments. She’ll be ridiculed by peers for some nurses act of stupidity.

    • Rick O'Shea

      Also include typing with speed and a lot of other musical instruments besides piano.

    • Jack

      I can’t play the piano, so who do I sue?


        You sue the person who caused the deformity or injury and you sue them for a lot of money. A pediatric nurse — someone charged with caring for and protecting CHILDREN — actually CUT OFF A BABY’S FINGER. That hospital and that nurse need to pay dearly and personally, if I were a judge, I’d give the plaintiff as much money as asked for so that the hospital learns to screen and hire experienced CARING nurses and health care workers. HOW MUCH IS YOUR OWN FINGER WORTH??? FUNNY HOW THOSE MAKING FUN OF THIS WOULD SUDDENLY SUE FOR AS MUCH OR MORE IF IT HAPPENED TO THEM!

  • Misti

    If it’s “not about the money” then 100% of the proceeds should be put in trust for the baby girl – accessible upon reaching her majority only. The money should be FOR THE BABY.

    Let’s see how that flies with the “not about the money” family.

    Don’t say it isn’t about the $$ unless you are willing to do just that.

    • gotero

      By the time the baby turns 18 there will not be a penny left.

      • Condor

        15 year old mother? She will spend it all on lottery tickets and cigarettes.

    • Forward Observer

      I don’t believe the family said “it’s not about the money”. I think that was their attorney. And besides, let’s get real, in a case like this, besides money, what else is there; there’s certainly no finger for the child. Don’t you think there should be some monetary compensation here, or do you think everybody should say “No biggie”.

  • Misti

    Oh, and yes I think it’s a horrible accident and the hospital and nurse are liable. Just don’t say it’s “not about the money” when of course it is.. otherwise there would not even be a suit.

    • Forward Observer

      What’s horrible here is that there’s a nurse working in a neo-natal unit that can’t tell the difference between cutting tape and fingers. I admit, baby fingers are very soft, but said finger would offer a heck of a lot more resistance to a pair of scissors than a piece of tape. This “nurse” must have been buzzed, distracted, angry or who knows what.

  • vlj

    This is the future of health care. Degenerate doctors, incompetent nurses and all located in the most filthy, disease filled hospitals of today. Between their vaccines and other medications, the only thing they do well is trauma care. The rest is voodoo, big pharma and profit based wrapped in Eugenics.

  • 4646436

    It just now occurred to me. If democrats eventually reach their goal of a UK-like national health service for our own country, won’t the hospitals be government entities immune from any civil suits?

  • john

    Money is the only form of compensation available. What do you want the nurse to do? Write an apology 1000 times?
    Have the nurse cut her own pinky yakuza style?

    • Frank

      now that you mention it….

  • TroyG

    What I continue to be concerned about is the foolish public who doesn’t understand that when you allow a Dr. or a Nurse work on your person, you must assume risk.
    No one is perfect, and accidents will happen.
    Doctors are going to vanish from the landscape when this nonsense escalates, and it will, because it is about the money.
    Bad things happen to good people, money doesn’t make anything right, or restore a finger.

    • rushgroove


      Can you say “Standard of care”?

      • Tom

        In this situation, what does “standard of care” mean?? Of course these types of accidents aren’t supposed to happen, but they do and when it does it’s very unfortunate. When you consider the number of procedures and interventions done every day in every hospital in this country, at some point the law of averages says this “one-in-a-10 million” incident will happen. Doesn’t make it ok, but it’s life and never will be eliminated from our society in general or healthcare specifically. 90% of the settlement/award going into a trust for the child is the only ethical thing to happen.

      • TroyG

        I can say “Standard of care”.
        Less Drs. lower standards…

    • aggiemara

      Somehow I don’t think getting your baby’s pinky finger cut off is the kind of accident you anticipate. It’s nonsense to think that it is. Getting an infection or a scratch but not getting the pinky cut off.

      • rushgroove

        Well said, Aggie –

        Clearly TroyG and Tom are not familiar with the concept of the standard of care expected of, in this case, health professionals.

        If your actions fall below that standard, you have committed malpractice.

        TroyG’s utopian “you must assume risk” leaves out a key word.


        That which resides within the standard of care expected by a duly trained and licensed health care practitioner.

        No matter how many times you re-read his post – and stop shaking your head thereafter – you are left asking yourself, since “No one is perfect, and accidents will happen” does that therefore mean that health care practitioners can carry out their duties with impunity – and when they result in harm, they can simply say “Ooops! Sorry! Accidents will happen…”

        Basic negligence principles which even TroyG should be able to eventually grasp…

  • Jim Smith

    she can only make half promises for the rest of her life. no one will trust her in elementary, middle or high school.

    • teresac803

      I know it’s callous, but that was funny!

  • carl

    wait until the dems succeed in seizing control over the health care system. people will DIE waiting in line for rationed care. there won’t be any legal recourse for malpractice victims. or for victims of long delays.

  • PaulF

    I woludn’t be able to sue. I’d be in prison for beating that nurse to death.

    • wth

      Paul hopefully you never cause an accident otherwise someone should be able to beat you to death according to your standards.

      • PaulF

        Tell me that if you were in that hospital room and the nurse came in with a pair of scissors to cut the tape holding the IV in place and somehow cut your three month old baby’s finger off instead you wouldn’t take immediate and hostile action agianst the one who by their incompitance and negligence did such harm to your screaming and bleeding baby…

        You must not be a parent.

    • GreyNWise

      That’s exactly where my mind went, too.

    • Tom

      Doesn’t sound like she did it on purpose…you’re uncivilized.

      • rbpa45

        Tom you clearly are not a parent. A beating of the RN is a completly rationale reaction. I can only gues that you pee sitting down sir.

  • Reality

    The hospital is responsible for NOT vetting the professionalism of their employees,I can’t say it,but I have an idea of the breakdown on this situation as there are several medical professionals in this family.Get ready folks,obamacare is coming,get used to this as the jobs will ONLY go to unionistas,dim backers,cronies and crroks,get used to it.

  • BT

    The nurse was incompentant and didn’t take proper care more than it was an accident. Where was the hospital administration in making sure that the nurses that care for infants are of good quality? What kind of safeguards where there that really bad nurses are identified and screened out of delicate duties? The little girl really hasn’t been impared or handicapped but her hand is now deformed and she will allways consider her hand ugly and this whole thing is just messed up on a grandscale! Yeah, they should sue and the nurse and Hospital should be sanctioned on a professional level.

  • J Velasco

    The child should have her current and future medical needs taken care of by the hospital for the remainder of her life. Her and only her. Not the rest of the family’s; just the little girl’s. The hospital should also be responsible for providing continued assistance directly related to any difficulties she may have in regards to her lacking that pinky finger.

    • Sammy

      Get out much? Mexicans living in FL? THEY ALREADY HAVE FREE MEDICAL CARE.

      • Roger

        Sammy you are such an idiot…especially responding to someone with a surname of “Velasco” Gosh, ignorance is bliss.

  • Hank Riordan

    People are making light of this as if it is no big deal.

    But, if you have a single working brain cell in your head you will realize…

    This is traumatic (for three critical reason)!!!

    1. She’ll never be able to wear two pinky rings at the same time (at least not on separate hands).

    2. She’ll never be able to make a pinky-promise with her BFF (before she follows in her mom’s footsteps and spawns more children as another unwed teen mother).

    But, the real horror?

    3. If it was her pinky finger on her dominant hand, 1/2 of all boogers she will ever sport for the rest of her life will be out of reach!

    Oh the humanity – her life is ruined!

    • PaulF

      Please get hit by a bus.

    • John W

      Took the word right out of my mouth. What a crock the hospital didn’t do anything wrong. A nurse who clearly felt offal ran out in total distress because of an accident. Thie child will be fine and can play magic tricks on her froends. I don’t see what the problem is. The liability and costs of treatment for the finger and the followijng healing should be covered thats it. Someone elses mistake should not be your lotto ticket in life.

      • Allena

        Referrng to John W’s comment, March 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm.

        Some people are just too stupid for words. Not that I didn’t know what kind of person I was seeing comment by the preceding sentence, but my suspicions were confirmed when I saw “awful” spelled as “offal.”

        Not only is a huge malpractice suit in order, I think I might want a criminal investigation as well. Cutting off the finger of a hospitalized three-month old strains one’s credulity too much to blithely accept that it happened by accident. If the nurse and the mother and baby are of different races, I’d be looking into this as some kind of perverse hate crime. You simply don’t snip off a baby’s finger unless there’s something extremely weird going on.

        While it’s certainly the case that the major harm was done to the baby, it’s also the case that any mother would also be traumatized by such an event. Actual damages are called for for the loss of a finger, but so are punitive damages. Due to the extreme negligence (giving the nurse more benefit of the doubt than I really want to), a total award of $5 million wouldn’t seem particularly out of line to me.

  • john

    I am getting discharged from John Muir Hopital in CA following major surgery, I have great HC insurance since I have worked hard all my life. My doctor, noting the current SC discussiion noted I would have likely had to wait a year (in stead of days) for my Surgery if Obama Care (sic) was in place.

    Kill the OHC bill now or we are all scr ewed,

  • JB

    One word: OBAMACARE. Now that you voted for it, you get to see just what’s in it! Just a little taste of the things to come!

  • Ned Kelly

    It’s an accident. Nothing can be done to bring her lost finger back.

    Have the Hospital put enough money to cover the expenses for the girl to graduate from a 4 year college into a trust fund that only she can touch. That’s worth $100-000-200,000.

    • petey

      You are spot on.
      It is a horrible accident.A nurse did something similar years ago.Clipped the tip off of the finger ,while cutting away the tape.WE NEVER USE SCISSORS to cut tape off or around IV’s.That nurse is most likely devastated as is anyone who has had something happen to a pt.
      I’m with you ,have the money go to a trust fund.
      And please ,to those of you who have said you would beat the nurse to death…..

  • inquisitor

    if it’s a newborn, the finger might regenerate.

    • http://lifewithjuneandward.wordpress.com vortexdweller

      Please, oh please tell me this is sarcasm.

      • Floridian

        Actually, no, it is not sarcasm. I lost part of my left pinky in an accident in the spring of 1963 when I was two years old, from the last knuckle to the tip of the finger. My parents rushed me to the hospital, and they said there was nothing they could do to bring back the missing part of my finger. But, the missing part of the finger actually regenerated! My parents could not believe it. The pediatrician told them it is not uncommon for children under age three to be able to regenerate digits. The nail of that finger has an unusual shape, as does the fingertip, and my left pinky fingerprint is truly amazing! Not only do I not feel deformed or mutilated, I like my unusual pinky finger and the story that goes with it. I would not trade it. It is terrible what happened to this little girl, but the outcome, even without surgical repair, may not be as bad as everyone thinks. My severed (partial) finger regenerated, and I can type and use my hands just like anyone else.

  • Cranky

    “this case is not about monetary compensation but how a little girl will deal with the limitations she has been dealt in the future.”

    Really?? What limitations? Oh yea I clean my navel with my pinky!

    Should they pay, probably. But lets hope they do not make the girls physically challenged person over it.

  • patricia

    I can’t believe the comments here. This nurse was cutting of tape from the baby’s arm and cut through bone to cut the finger. That is not something you assume will happen when you bring your baby to the hospital. This is a serious issue and you are all making light of the situation. What if this had been your child? I can only think that I would have hunted down that nurse, pummelled her face into a very hard wall — then sued for the harm the hospital did to my child. Sure, it’s an accident, but it’s careless and it’s negligence.

    • TroyG

      So patricia, that is what is wrong with so many today. It was a horrible mistake, probably caused by an inattentive person, who might have been distracted by any number of goings on, maybe even the parent blabbing in her ear.

      What part of human, accident, or failure don’t you all understand. I didn’t say it was right, only that to err is human. If you go to the Dr. and you don’t consider that he or she might kill you by accident, then you are an immature person who risks their life unknowingly.

      Another violent person, seems to be a wealth of violence in America today, and every person who talks about physically assaulting the Nurse is part of the problem.

      There is a reason that Drs. and Nurses are said to practice medicine. Accidents shouldn’t happen in the Hospital, but they always have, and always will.

      • patricia

        Troy – you are what’s wrong in today’s society. Your way of thinking is, it happens so just accept it. If it happens, you don’t accept it. This is a case of negligence. I don’t care what the reason was that caused this nurse to be negligent, but she was and it cost a baby’s finger to be severed and non-reattachable. I don’t get why people are so non-chalant with something like this. Oh, it’s just an accident, so let it go. Um, no. This nurse and hospital will never understand their crimes against people until someone says, hey, what you did was wrong and you will not go unpunished. And your statement of accidents happen and always will is very ignorant. You just accept accidents as something you can’t control, but you can control it by having a staff that’s more vigilant and by having people who actually think the medical field is a career and not a job. Until you change your view, you will continue to have accidents.

  • theJackal

    Of course the victim and her unwed, illegal alien mother didn’t pay a nickle for thier medical service. And now they are gonna live large on other peoples money. Ridiculous.

    • georgiasaraann

      I am thinking the same thing. If she did not pay for the service, then she should not get a dime. The hospital saved the baby’s life. While it is horrible what happened, why would the hospital have to pay out a settlement to someone they had to treat for free? The baby would be dead had the hospital not treated her. If I was on a civil jury, I would not pay any money. People need to get some perspective on this. When hospitals get drained due to non paying patients and settlements, they go out of business. Then residents of the community have no place to go. It has happened to Texas border towns.

  • Rick O'Shea

    Hopefully she won’t be removing male catheters.

    • potvin99


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