05/11/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Los Angeles, CA—County officials are looking into allegations that a nurse and her supervisor ran a beauty salon in the infant ward of a hospital. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich ordered the investigation on Thursday, May 6, 2010. The suspected employees have been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation is conducted, as reported by the Contra Costa Times.

The investigation was prompted after officials received two anonymous complaints. The complaints alleged inappropriate behavior in a unit of the hospital where high-risk newborns are treated and cared for. The alleged beauty salon was reportedly being run at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar.

The complaints contended medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and other staff members, received manicures and had their eyebrows waxed in the infant ward. Individuals also reported smelling acetone in the unit.

To make matters worse, the beauty procedures were allegedly performed atop medical equipment used to care for at-risk infants.

The complaints also alleged incompetent medical staff erroneously treated young patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Antonovich spokesperson Tony Bell noted, “This unit houses our county’s most vulnerable young patients—typically babies with respiratory issues, at risk of infection and prematurely born… So this is a very serious matter when you consider the potential for life-threatening injuries with the noxious fumes and unsanitary conditions (from a beauty salon).”

In response to allegations, Olive View Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Rhee stated, “The first concern of the hospital is always patient safety and quality of care… We comply with all state and federal requirements. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides safe, high-quality care to our youngest patients.”

Health and hospital officials are investigating the claims.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for California Medical Malpractice Lawyers.

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