Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maybe he was going to rehab so it was all his fault.

Department of Homeland Security agents detained a baby and his family who were traveling from American Samoa to Hawaii so the child could undergo heart surgery. While being held in the locked room the child died.

Baby held in locked room at airport dies

A 14-day-old infant traveling here for heart surgery died at Honolulu International Airport on Friday after he, his mother and a nurse were detained by immigration officials in a locked room, a lawyer for the boy's family said.

The Honolulu medical examiner's office yesterday identified the infant as Michael Futi of Tafuna, American Samoa's largest village, which is located on the east coast of Tutuila Island. Autopsy findings have been deferred.

According to police, the child died at 5:50 a.m. It is unknown why immigration officials detained the mother, the nurse and the child.

Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the child went into respiratory failure while in the customs office, which is located near the baggage claims area of the overseas terminal. Airport paramedics were called about 6:10 a.m., he said.

The group arrived on a Hawaiian Airlines flight that landed at 5:30 a.m.

"We were later told the baby was coming here for heart surgery," Ishikawa said.

Attorney Rick Fried said the child had come to Hawai'i from American Samoa for heart surgery.

The boy's family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit, Fried said

Emphasis mine.

I'm sure the righties will find a way to blame the victim in this case, too.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

That baby's crime was that it was not white. I shake with rage when I read and hear about stupid shit like this.

dguzman said...

What Monkey said.

Dr. Zaius said...

14 days old? Wow, terrorists are sure getting younger every day!

I'm guessing that Homeland Security needed the twenty minutes (the time between the child's death and their alerting the airport paramedics) to make sure that the child was not Islamic. Either that, or they spent the time figuring out a way to color the story in their favor.

The parents must be grief stricken.

Fran said...

WTF? I am awash in rage, awash in rage !!!

s. douglas said...

These selfish minorities with their "Heart Conditions."

Life simply has no value in America, rules/regulations/order are what's really important.

Mauigirl said...

This is inexecusable.

no_slappz said...

There is obviously more to this story.

But let's start with the fact that a two-week-old child is flying to Hawaii for a purported heart operation. A new-born. Two weeks old.

Airlines practically beg passengers to alert them to their special medical concerns. An new-born in immediate need of a heart operation falls into that category.

Sorry. There's something fishy about this story.

no_slappz said...

Here's another report on the same incident. This time the detention was only 30 minutes and the infant was taken to a medical center before dying.

"A lawyer for the boy's mother said Michael died after he, his mother and a traveling nurse were kept in a warm room for about 30 minutes after arriving from American Samoa on Feb. 8. The boy was in Honolulu so he could be examined for a heart condition and probable surgery.

"Luaipou Futi said her son became distressed in the room, and she and the nurse tried in vain to persuade officials to let them out.

"The group was detained after a five-hour flight by immigration officials who apparently believed there was a problem with the mother's visa waiver, according to Rick Fried, the mother's attorney.

"Fried said that while locked in the room, the baby started having breathing problems. After the three were released, city paramedics took Michael, in critical condition, to Kaiser Permanente's Moanalua Medical Center. He died later that morning."

no_slappz said...

How sick was this newborn before boarding the airplane? Was this infant near death ON the airplane? Did the parents conceal something about the infant's health?

The infant -- 2 weeks old -- was heading to Hawaii for a heart examination, and, it was said, for a heart operation.

That's evidence of a sick kid. A very very unhealthy infant.

Infants with heart conditions usually have hearts that are not pumping enough aerated blood -- resulting in the "blue baby" state.

In flight, the air pressure inside aircraft is lower than air pressure at sea level, where the kid lived. That means, among other matters, that people are breathing less oxygen with each breath.

The infant was in this thin atmosphere for a 5-hour flight. This is a kid whose heart was functioning so poorly that an operation was imminent.

Whose idea was it to put the infant on an airplane? How did an infant with a perilous heart condition fly without medical precautions?

This problem occurred because responsible people -- parents, Samoan doctors -- did not take proper precautions BEFORE departing from Samoa. This issue has nothing to do with being detained for 30 minutes at the Honolulu airport.

In fact, the child probably had a better chance of surviving because the incident occurred in the airport rather than while the family was traveling along some roadway where help was not immediately available.

Frankly, since the problems occurred so soon after landing, it's quite likely the infant would have gone into distress in the baggage claim area if the family had not been detained. What then?

Are there Emergency Medical Services personnel available in the baggage claim area with the skill to save a newborn with a heart condition so severe an operation is necessary?

BadTux said...

Cool! We didn't even have to go to another blog for someone to blame the victim!

I have just one question: How is a baby supposed to get from American Samoa (which, remember, is an island), to a mainland hospital capable of heart surgery, without flying? Walk? On water?

Normal procedure will be to put the baby on a normal jet airliner with an oxygen tank for supplemental oxygen. Due to safety regulations they can't take the baby's oxygen tank onto the airliner. They must use the airline's oxygen tank. Okay, so what do they do when they get off the airliner? Duh, they turn over the airline's oxygen tank to the airline and *meet their party on the other side of the checkpoint who has *THEIR* oxygen tank*.

Which obviously they can't do if they're in a locked room with Homeland Security goons giving them the nth degree.

Like I said, this is all routine. Airlines do this kind of thing all the time when there's people who are otherwise healthy but require supplemental oxygen. "Blue baby" syndrome falls into this category as far as airlines are concerned. "Blue baby" needs to be fixed ASAP but is not in and of itself immediately fatal as long as the baby has supplemental oxygen. Which, obviously, wasn't happening here...

-- Badtux the Healthcare Penguin