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UCI Response to 'Inaccuracies'

May 24, 1987

I want to call your attention to the gross inaccuracies that appeared (May 1) about 10-month-old Alvar Lopez's battle to survive a "rare genetic syndrome."

UCI Medical Center believes an inexperienced reporter was misled about our neonatal unit as well as about the details of a specific patient.

The Times' story quotes Alvar's father, Salome, as stating that "doctors (at UCIMC) were ready to give up on him because they didn't have the necessary facilities to keep him alive." We were sorry to read this misrepresentation.

For Alvar Lopez and for every newborn treated in our infant special care nursery, we are absolutely committed to achieving the best possible outcome.

Your story was particularly surprising to us since UCI's infant special care unit probably is the state's best at treating critically ill newborns. UCI's is a nationally recognized unit with state-of-the-art equipment that treats 900 critically ill infants annually. Previous Times' stories have drawn attention to the unit and its excellent doctors.

Shame on The Times for letting this story--with its misrepresentations and omissions--get by them.

ELAINE BENO

Acting Director,

Public Information

UCI Medical Center

Orange

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