A state legislator is calling for an investigation after a viral outbreak killed 11 children in a hospital in New Jersey.
New Jersey Senators Wants To Probe Hospital
State Sen. Richard Codey of Essex said that the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation should be held accountable. In a letter to the state's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, State Sen. Codey that the center did not know how to handle the situation and took too long to take action.
"One suffering child should be enough to demand action, but it took the loss of numerous lives before the facility's leadership took this seriously," he wrote.
Three other legislators — State Senator Gerald Cardinale, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, and Assemblyman Robert Auth — also proposed that an investigation should be carried out. The office of the state attorney general has neither responded to the letter nor issued a statement regarding the call for an investigation.
11 Children Dead In New Jersey Hospital
The letter comes a month after federal inspectors reported on the failure that led to the tragic deaths of 11 children due to adenovirus last year. Most criticisms were directed to the medical director who was allegedly scarcely on site while the outbreak was raging.
It took four deaths before the center, which admitted children with disabilities who need round the clock care before the medical director acknowledged the seriousness of the outbreak.
"I said how is it going to spread? That was in October," the medical director who was identified as Maged Ghaly told the investigators. "I knew we had a problem after the 4th death."
The 114-page report also revealed that the rehab center did not have an adequate plan in place to control the outbreak and the staff failed to take action to slow down the spread of the disease. A total of 36 residents and one staff were infected by the adenovirus during the outbreak.
The health department did not publicly confirm the problem until Oct. 22. Admissions at the rehab center were suspended until the outbreak has been controlled. The facility was also fined $600,000 for violations.
A lawyer for the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation said that they are currently contesting the findings of the report.