Premature baby born at 25 weeks burned by incubator lights, says mother

A Phoenix mother is demanding answers after she says her baby suffered first-degree burns at a valley hospital.

5-month-old Annamaribel was born prematurely at Banner University Medical Center at just 25 weeks, weighing one pound and three ounces. She lived in an incubator for months, and like many preemies, she underwent light-therapy to treat jaundice.

But, instead of the light-therapy helping, her mother claims the lights may have damaged her newborn. Yessica Rodriguez noticed her baby's skin suddenly turned red.

Eventually, Annamaribel was treated for burns and blisters. "They used gauze and vaseline and wrapped her up... she was on [a] morphine drip for like 3 months while she was in there," Rodriguez said.

She says she tried complaining about her baby's condition to the staff. "I guess I didn't speak loud enough for them to understand or hear me."

"In this case, the baby was diagnosed with a rash, that wasn't what was going on -- the baby was being burnt. She has blisters and scarring as a result of this incident," says David Dow, the family's attorney.

He says Rodriguez requested her daughter's medical records but didn't receive any records of her newborn's first three days at the hospital.

Banner Health representatives said they were unable to comment specifically about Annamirabel, saying, "We have no record of a complaint of this nature. When patients [or parents of patients] have concerns, they can ask a member of our staff to speak with someone in patient relations to file a complaint. At that point in time, we would investigate immediately and fully."

"When something goes horribly wrong like this, they have to self-report if what they're saying they didn't do, that's somewhat shocking and that will have to be dealt with government officials regarding their licenses and what they do," Dow said.

Attorneys say they are going to file formal complaints with the Arizona Department of Health and the attorney general. Eventually, they say they will take legal action against Banner University because Annamirabel is going to need further medical treatments for her burns.