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VALLEY FOCUS | Northridge

Prospects Improving for Infected Infant

July 16, 1998|PHIL WILLON

The outlook is improving for the 11-month-old Oxnard girl stricken with flesh-eating bacteria, hospital officials said Wednesday.

Rosa Icela Olvera was healthy enough to be taken off a ventilator, and the temporary skin grafts covering her extensive wounds were 90% successful, said Dr. Hooshang Semnani, head of pediatric critical care at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where Rosa has been receiving treatment since July 3.

Semnani said Rosa still is considered a high-risk patient and remains in the intensive care unit, but added that "it looks like she is past the critical stage now."

Doctors attached nearly a square foot of cadaver skin over Rosa's chest, right side and back on July 7, covering an open wound left when surgeons removed strips of tissue ravaged by the bacteria.

Cadaver skin is used to prevent deadly infection, and will eventually be replaced by permanent grafts of Rosa's own skin during a second surgery next week, Semnani said.

Rosa first became ill June 29, and was seen by three doctors before the potentially deadly condition was diagnosed during a second visit to the Ventura County Medical Center.

She was transferred to the Northridge hospital July 3.

The state Department of Health Services is reviewing Rosa's case to determine if she received proper care in Ventura County.

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