Stamford Hospital's delay in reporting signs of a head injury to a 2-month-old baby, who was transported after she was having trouble breathing at a daycare, has hampered police's homicide investigation, police said.
Bella Redondo had "evidence of head trauma" when she was transported to Stamford Hospital on Tuesday at 3:40 p.m., Lt. Diedrich Hohn confirmed with NBC Connecticut.
Stamford EMS responded to Little Bears Beginnings Daycare, on Wardwell Street, around 3:12 p.m. Tuesday after a worker called 911 and reported that the baby girl, Bella Redondo, of New Canaan, was having trouble breathing, police said. Bella was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Hohn said the hospital should have reported the injury to police two hours sooner than they did. He said the baby's injuries were "obvious" and should have raised suspicion that a criminal act had probably occured, Hohn confirmed with NBC Connecticut.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the baby's death a homicide and said the cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head, police said.
Stamford Hospital told NBC Connecticut it notifies "law enforcement and authorities as soon as a patient's immediate medical condition does not require our full attention."
"Privacy laws and concern for our patients and their families prevents us from commenting on individual cases. However, in a life or death situation in our emergency department, our main priority is to save a patient’s life. We notify law enforcement and authorities as soon as a patient’s immediate medical condition does not require our full attention. It is important for the public to understand that in grave situations, it is the life of the patient that is most important. We have great respect for the role that law enforcement plays and, in this and every case, we fully cooperate with reporting requirements and the complete investigation," the hospital wrote in a statement.
On Wednesday, documents obtained by NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reveal that the licensee of a Stamford daycare, where a two-month-old baby died, safety concerns and hazards from the last two years.
An inspector wrote in the report the "backyard (is) unsafe for childcare at this time" after observing gas grills, propane tanks and a pile of fencing wood with nails exposed in the back yard during the Decemeber inspection.
The report also said an electrical outlet and sockets were left uncovered in a bathroom.
While some repairs were made on sight that same day, letters from the state indicate that the daycare licensee failed to submit the entire corrective action plan need in February or March.
A homicide investigation is still underway.