Dumas mother upset after son sent home twice from the Moore County Hospital ER

Kyla Kenway first sensed her 19 month old son was sick two weeks ago.

Lane's body was hot at night, so she gave him Tylenol. The next day, he got sent home from daycare with a fever of 105 degrees.

Kenway took Lane to the emergency room at the Moore County Hospital. The doctor checked for the flu and when he tested negative, Kenway was told Lane just had a virus.

Two days later Lane still had a high fever, so they returned to the ER. This time they did a chest x-ray, and checked his oxygen levels.

Kenway said she told the doctor, Lane had stopped eating and drinking and expressed concern about his heavy breathing.

The doctor assured her that heavy breathing was normal for children with high fever, and sent them home again.

On Christmas Day, Kenway's uncle, who is a paramedic, sensed something was not right.

"He took one look at my son, immediately took his vitals, took his temperature and when he checked his vitals, his oxygen was all the way down to 80. Which is what it was on Monday when we took him to the ER in Dumas," Kenway said.

They immediately brought Lane to the emergency room at Baptist Saint Anthony's.

"We weren't even there 5 minutes and they pulled us straight back into a room to take his vitals. As soon as they saw that his oxygen levels were at 80â?¦ they immediately started him on oxygen," Kenway said.

"[They] called up to the pediatric intensive care unit and said, get a room, you have a really sick baby."

Lane was hooked up to an IV, had a feeding tube, and given antibiotics.

Dave Clark, a healthcare consultant, said this highlights the divide between rural and urban healthcare.

"Rural hospitals have a different mission than large hospitals," Clark said.

Clark said there are over 18 rural hospitals in this area of Texas. Most of them are called critical care access hospitals.

The purpose of these, according to Clark, is "to keep local people in rural areas in their local hospital."

Rural hospitals are often times not experienced or well equipped to handle pediatrics or serious issues, which is why they usually refer serious cases to larger hospitals.

Kenway said, Moore County Hospital did not tell her to go to a larger hospital.

"Doing this for a career, that kid probably would, on the 2nd time, have gotten admitted, had an IV, watched closely and maybe been dismissed the next day," Clark said.