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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » OMG!!!! Used syringe used on my kid during tonsilectomy!!!!!

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Author Topic: OMG!!!! Used syringe used on my kid during tonsilectomy!!!!!
catskillmamala
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I just left local prestigious medical teaching college. My son was having a tonsilectomy/adenoidectomy. At the suggestion of his ENT, we drew ALL the blood from lyme and babs testing since he was breastfeeding when I was dx. He goes to Dr. J in Sept. and Dr. J is also having the tonsil tissue examined.

BUT. . . . they came to us after the surgery and told us that they messed up and used a previously used syringe on him when administering a muscle relaxant post anesthesia (sp?).

UUUUGGG. The syringe was a screw sryinge into 12 inches of tubing into a heplock. They are checking to see if the other family will consent to a HIPPA release of medical information.

They brought down the head of Pediatric ID to assure us, which it didn't. Now, great, we get a lifetime of free ID work at that hospital?

The ID doc wrote up a list of risks (HIV, Hep B and Hep C). Are you kidding me? We are lyme positive family with co-infections- the F*@#cking list is infinite in reality and we know that the hard way.

And lucky for the other family the roles weren't reversed, because our kid was exposed to two infectious diseases breastfeeding if not in utero.

I AM SO UPSET. I regret doing this surgery. So what if the kid couldn't sleep and was grumpy as heck? I feel like such an idiot.

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sixgoofykids
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OMGOSH!!! Would you WANT free treatment for life at THAT hospital.

If they don't release the name of the patient, how would they be breaking privacy laws?????

That is really unbelievable. I'd be absolutely livid, and if my Lyme were flaring, everyone in that hospital would see a good dose of Lyme rage!

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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catskillmamala
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No, I wouldn't want free care at that hospital. They are the only place around for the surgery. The TOTALLY BLEW the lyme/babs dx in our daughter two years ago.

We went to them for a chronic "yeast" infection which was really burning urination along with joint pain, headaches, major fatigue, eye pain, night sweats, etc. AND our daughter had a previous lyme dx with a 6 week course of amox, but did the ID dept even think for a second- duh, co-infections? No.

When we brought the lab box with an order from Dr. J and our ENT's A-OK, they still tried to talk us out of testing our kid. PART OF ME FEELS LIKE THIS SYRINGE DOUBLE USE WAS PAYBACK FOR BEING A "PSYCHO" CHRONIC LYME FAMILY.

GRRRRRR.

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stymielymie
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call a lawyer
you have a major case if you have a witness and this is in their medical records.

it will cover dr. j's bill

docdave [cussing]

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BOEJR
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I agree with stymie,,,

--------------------
Please consult your LLMD before making any changes to your treatment regimen.

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FuzzySlippers
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I am so sorry that this has happened to you and your son.

Just thought I'd offer a bit of a warning. Do not accept anything "for free" from the hospital at this point in time. Including, but not limited to, further free tests, free medical care, etc.

Accepting services like that for free at this point could be construed as some sort of implied agreement between you and the hospital that you are accepting recompense for the negligence.

Should you need to take legal action at some point down the road against the hospital in order to get unexpected health care costs reimbursed as a result of their mistake, then you might be disqualified from getting any monetary awards to cover those costs from the hospital because you accepted some sort of free service from them after the event.

I agree with Stymie as well. Even if you don't intend to sue, it's important to know how you should handle any continued relationships with the hospital regarding your son. And you might want an attorney anyway if the other family does not agree to release the HIPPA information. I think you need to know what the other patient was being treated for.

I would like to think that there would be certain situations where HIPPA would be overridden and certain information would have to be made available. Your case would seem a perfect example of the need to know. But I just don't know about the HIPPA regulations in a situation like yours.

Hope this helps.

Fuzz

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Keebler
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-

Did they keep the syringe? I would think they could test it. It may not be a definitive test, but if they do find something, that would sure help identify what steps to take next.

And, would an immuoglobulin or gamma globulin series help?


-

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feelfit
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I think that Catskillmamala IS a lawyer.

So sorry to hear of this! Hopefully everything w/ that other patient is ok and there are no complications.

I would not hesitate to take legal action If it were my family/child.

Best,
Feelfit

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catskillmamala
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Doh! I didn't ask about the syringe.

What are immuoglobulin or gamma globulin?

I think I may HAVE to talk to a lawyer just with regard to the HIPPA information. I agree that it seems ridiculous that this health information can be kept from us--don't give us identity, but still--what was the patient being treated for?

I just spoke to my cousin who is an anethesiologist. He said the risk is very very low. BUT he said that it's basically considered malpractice to use the same syringe and that it's the anesthetist's fault because they should always know where the meds are from.

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catskillmamala
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Yes, Feelfit, I am an attorney, but I practice zoning and planning law, small business and non profit representation, not medical malpractice.

You know what they say about the lawyer who represents herself: she has a fool for a client.

It's like I say about lyme and politics- I love politics, not medical politics. Basically, I don't want to be even thinking about possible medical claims. Of course, it's basically neglect of my child if I don't.

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FuzzySlippers
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quote:
Originally posted by feelfit:
I think that Catskillmamala IS a lawyer.

Then I've been preaching to the choir. lol! Sorry, cat, I didn't realize you were an attorney.

I can't get my head 'round the HIPPA restrictions in this case either. There has to be some provision for situations like these in the regulations.

Relieved to hear that your cousin says the risk is so low.

Fuzz

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lymednva
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I agree that consulting an attorney is the way to go. They were negligent and this could certainly help pay for expensive Lyme treatment for your family.

--------------------
Lymednva

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Keebler
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-

immuoglobulin or gamma globulin - I think to help the immune system.

When I was in college and waiting for my tonsils to come out I had to first get a gamma globulin shot because I had been around my mother who had hepatitis and they did not want me to contract that.

That was over 30 years ago, but I know immumoglobin is one treatment for lyme, currently. However, it involves the use of blood products (and there you go again).

I don't know if gamma globulin involves blood products or not and while I'm curious, I am too tired to find out more.

I hope you find some peace in this. I'd have them put the kid on IV allicin as it is antibacterial and antiviral. But I don't think they use that here in the states. Well, MDs don't. Some naturopathic physicians do.


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JKMMC09
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I am SO sorry that this happened to your son.

Last year the same happened to me. I was seeing a pain specialist and receiving pain injections.

The physician re-used a needle on me.

He immediately caught his mistake and tested me right there in his office for all of the same things they are telling you--HIV, Hep. C, etc.

The doctor called the county Health dept. to report what happened to me. They had him send them the names of ALL of the other patients he had treated that day, and that whole week---They were all sent letters notifying them that an "incident" occurred with another patient, and it is unknown if a dirty needle may have been used on them--the letter told them all to get tested, etc.

My tests were negative, so I didn't get a lawyer. I had excellent rapport with the doctor, and saw no need to do so, but in your case ...it might be necessary.

To this day, I am still a patient of the doctor who did it to me. It was an honest mistake, and I know he certainly is more cautious about it than any other doctor now [Smile]

I pray your sons tests are negative, like mine were.

God bless.

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Keebler
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-

I don't want to scare you, but Hep. C, may not show up in tests right away. Be sure you have a generous window of time.

Again, it would be so nice if we would do IV allicin here.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

PubMed Search:

IV allicin - 5 abstracts

intravenous allicin - 7


I sent you by PM the contact for the doctor who wrote the article below. He is a hepatitis specialist and a lyme specialist, a MD in NYC.


-

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Keebler
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-
I think you need an excellent attorney. Again, this is not to scare you, and I normally try to end with upbeat stuff or empowering stuff.

The thing is that this probably will be okay. Still, you need an attorney who has the best research skills. So very sorry.


=======================================


From Dr. Zhang's site. If you can't get into this link, go to www.sinomedresearch.org and try the password "clinic" and then "clinic" again.

Left hand - 1/3 way down, under liver disorders:

-----

www.sinomedresearch.org/hcv/index.htm


About HCV

What is the significance of Hepatitis C?

Viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis C, is currently the most prevalent infectious disease in the U.S. It is estimated that more than 4.5 million Americans have been infected with hepatitis C and more than 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Most common diagnosis methods are:

ELISA assay to detect Hepatitis C antibody
HCV RNA C PCR test
Liver enzymes
Liver biopsy shows chronic inflammation


Hepatitis C genotype.

Six genotypes are present around the world.

Most Americans have genotype 1 infection, which has lower response rates to Interferon based treatments.


Hepatitis C is an insidious and stealthy virus that mutates while hiding within liver and other organ cells, making it very difficult for the body's immune system to eradicate it.


Additionally, hepatitis C tends to progress slowly over many years, resulting in as many as 74% to 85% of infected patients having few noticeable symptoms until they reach an advanced chronic stage.


Hepatitis C results in 8,000 to 10,000 deaths annually. It is also the leading cause for liver transplants in the U.S. Without effective treatment, this figure is expected to triple within the next 10 to 20 years.


As the disease progresses, blood tests indicate elevated liver enzyme levels (ALT, AST), which are indicative of liver damage and inflammation.


As the course of the disease gradually disrupts crucial liver functions, it progresses to cirrhosis in about 15%-25% of patients. A small percentage among these cases may progress to hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of primary liver cancer.


Although the severity of hepatitis C is much less than HIV infection, four times as many people are infected with HCV than HIV.


The course of disease progression can take several decades, which allows considerable time for proper treatment and disease management.


Proper treatment, lifestyle, diet, abstinence from alcohol and stress management are key factors in mitigating disease progression.


-

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bettyg
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mama,

wow, so sorry this happened to your child!


yes, i'd check with a lawyer of this type also.


thanks for telling us YOUR LAWYER SPECIALTY as well! and cute about representing yourself; about having a fool for a client!!


best wishes everything comes out OK!! [group hug] [kiss]

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treepatrol
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This should never ever happen get a lawyer and take them down that is such crap used needle !!!! [bonk]

--------------------
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

Newbie Links

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Marnie
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"Dr. J is also having the tonsil tissue examined."

Don't count on it.

My sis, when she had to have her knee replaced at a MAJOR hospital, asked that the bone and fluid removed be tested for lyme too. They reminded the doctor many times.

It was "lost".

Yea, right.

Call a top notch attorney before doing anything or signing anything. Find the best one. Network.

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catskillmamala
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I have all the tissue and v\blood samples in my fridge. I am typing one handed cause my little guy is on my lap.

The anesthesiologist just called to check on us. She said she was very dissappointed with the patient advocate. The doctors insisted that they give us paperwork, and he advocate wasn't sure if it was against policy?!?

I am goingto call the lab our stuff is going to to see if we can preserve some blood pre-incident.
.

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lymemomtooo
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I agree with Doc Dave and others. Get a good lawyer..Even if you like the staff.

Your families future is already tainted with fighting this tick borne crap. Let the hospital be responsible if anything else rears it's ugly head. lmt

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catskillmamala
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OK here's the update:

The other family gave a HIPPA release. The other patient was a baby there for a cosmetic lip surgery, had never had a transfusion and tested negative at the newborn screening for Hep B, C and HIV. (I say yeah, but what about lyme, babs, bart, HVP, EBV, etc. ,etc. )

That being said, I called Clongen and asked them to not work on the blood until we speak with Dr. J to possibly bank some.

In addition, I spoke with a personal injury attorney who didn't particularly think we have a case, unless something arises, because there's no injury (my heart in my throat and lack of sleep don't count).

Talk about stress and not getting the rest we should to battle lyme. . . .sigh

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stymielymie
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gamma and immuno globulin are large molecules
given after exposure to unknown needle sticks to prevent many viruses and bacteria from developing
in the blood system. they increase the immune system
and are treatment of choice after unkown exposure.
being a dentist for 24 years i had multiple exposures and needle sticks from giving anesthesia
to patients.
i had gamma globulin at least 10 times in my practice.
it is impossible for the dentist or the assistant
not to get exposed to the patients blood,as,
dentistry aerosols the blood into the air and we breathe it in, or get stuck by a needle after injection.

the probability of getting any diseases, especially from an infant are extremely small,
since an infant has a higher immune system.
their immune system is mother based, especially
if breast fed, but does not fully kick in
for 6 months or so.
this is why and how they can do organ transplants
on infants without rejection.

so, do not sign a release from the hospital.
leave your options open.
tests will not show up positive for many months to
years after exposure.
have the lawyer submit papers to the courts, so that the statue of limitations does not
prevent you in the future from starting a case.

the anesthesiologist may settle out of court for
some bit of money, may consider taking i,in case of possible future problems.

so: don't worry, it would be extremely rare that an infant has a major disease in its blood.
gamma globulin should help prevent it even further.

docdave
[confused]

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sammy
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So sorry that your family is having to deal with this awefull situation. It must be incredibly stressful to add on top of the burdens of Lyme.

After reading your first post on this topic I have a few questions.

It sounds like the hospital admitted to reusing a syringe but not an actual "needle stick"?

Many people are posting about the risks of needle sticks. Like they gave a shot(IM not IV) to the previous child then recapped the needle and later stuck your child with the used needle.

Most hospitals do not use needles to inject medicines into IV tubing/heplocks. They use syringes with plastic caps to instead. They are cheaper, safer... and easier to recap and reuse especially with anesthesia when the levels of meds needed fluctuate with each person.

So, what i'm saying is that maybe your child is not as likely to develop a blood born illness as he would have been if exposed to a used needle? Maybe he is a little less at risk?

If the syringe was used in an IV port on the first child (IV fluids and medicine flowing down the tubing into the body) then accidentally reused in the same way with your child, there should have been no back flow of blood because of the IV flow. So less possible contamination right?

Not downplaying what the hospital did. They made a HUGE HUGE HUGE Awefull, Terrible mistake. Makes us all cringe.

Just thought that, maybe, you might feel better with a different perspective on the situation. That's the only reason i'm speaking tonight.

Or maybe not. So please don't beat me up with angry posts to follow. I don't mean to upset anybody.

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catskillmamala
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Sammy, you are so right about there likely not being any backflow- and yes, it was a plastic syringe, but because it was a muscle relaxant given in an emergency situation to enable breathing, my anesthesiologist cousin tells me that it was likely a needle that they can jab right into the port rather than a screw cap which takes more time.

That being said, I am trying to "get over it." The hospital did mess up, but it's something that was literally standard operating procedure not that many years ago. The risk of backflow from child one was minimal and that child, I now know, was hep and hiv negative.

I have presurgery blood on its way to the lab for lyme/babs testing and we may try to set a vial of that blood aside in case we need to question a medical situation later.

I do not think I will be jumping to litigate yet, especially now that I have the HIPPA info on the other child. On the other hand, I will not be signing any releases ever. The hospital did the right thing in even telling me and the surgeon and anethesiologist have been very good. I will probably write a letter of complaint regarding the patient advocate's trying to stand in my way of leaving with records!

I would so much rather any money that would be spent by the hospital defending my lawsuit go to help low income patients. BUT unfortunately the reality of it is that insurance pays the costs of litigation, not the hospital itself, although another suit could increase premiums.

Thank you everyone who responded, and thank you lymenet for giving me a place to talk. I guarantee, I would be in much worse shape if I did not have THIS sounding board.

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Lymetoo
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I'm REALLY sorry this happened to your son!! AARRGGHH!!!! Like you don't have enough on your plate already!!!

Could you explain to me why ANY hospital would re-use a syringe? I just don't get that. I know it's happened before and I just don't understand. Thanks.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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AliG
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quote:
Originally posted by catskillmamala:

The syringe was a screw sryinge into 12 inches of tubing into a heplock


I'm just curious, was the concern over infection (was anything drawn back out into the syringe through the tubing?) or over the medication that had been previously administered to the other patient?

I'm praying right now that the heploc & 12 inches of tubing might have been able to prevent any transmission and that nothing had been drawn back into the line.

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. [Frown]

hugs & prayers,
[group hug]
Ali

--------------------
Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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Mo
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ugh.

so sorry for this scare -- as tho your family needs more to worry about.

sounds like you have a good handle on it, tho.
wishing you the best possible outcome..

mo

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hshbmom
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Catskillmamala, please update us concerning this incident.
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karenl
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You need a lawyer and make sure you are covered over a very long time frame, some diseases have a long incubation time.

I wonder if this is also neglect or something like this and should be brought to attention of the state. This does not help you but maybe it is necessary. And they can definitely get the Hippa information.
At least they told you and did not cover up.

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springshowers
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no matter what the outcome and details etc
I wanted to just say I am sorry for you having to deal with such a horrible thing and the stress must be just terrible.

All I have to offer is a big HUG !!!!!

Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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LightAtTheEnd
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Lymetoo, I was wondering the same thing.

Haven't we known for a few decades that reusing a syringe is not to be done, ever? And instituted practices to avoid it?

I don't get how it could happen at all, unless they were/are in complete disregard of what has been standard practice for a long time.

That said, you are lucky they admitted it, so you at least have a chance to be prepared and do something about it.

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Don't forget to laugh! And when you're going through hell, keep going!

Bitten 5/25/2009 in Perry County, Indiana. Diagnosed by LLMD 12/2/2009.

Posts: 756 | From Inside the tunnel | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sk8ter
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Get A Lawyer. Coming from a legal family this is a huge case!!! These other diseases can take up to two years to show up. Any good atty will take this!!! God Bless You
Posts: 871 | From orange county, ca. | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Florence1
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this was posted in 2008 so I'm sure they have done the lawyer route already.....statute of limitations etc....but i would still be very interested to know the outcome and that everything is ok now.......

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Oct 09 Positive CDC Western Blot
Jan 10 Positive Babesia Duncani
Jan 10 Cd57 28
Mar 10 EBV, IgM, IgG
HHV-6 IgG

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joahsark
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So sorry to hear what you're going through. When my daughter was born as a 29 week preemie she was mistakenly given an entire feeding (by stomach tube) of another mother's breast milk by mistake, we were immediatly called in and explained all the possible ramifications (HIV, etc.) We were frantic, she was battling to survive already. This kind of thing is more commom than we'd like to think.

We contactd a couple lawyers but were told nothing would be done unless whe experienced a complication directly from the incedent at some point.

Good luck.

Posts: 219 | From pacific nw | Registered: Jun 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pamoisondelune
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A nightmare!

A different question, Did he HAVE to have an adenoidectomy?

I had an adenoidectomy as a child. My local doc says the adenoids are the body's first line of defense, and maybe that's one reason why my immune system was too low to react to lyme in the first place.

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gatorade girl
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i would at least call a lawyer.

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gatorade girl

"I still have Mt.Everest to climb, but I have traveled across the world and arrived at the mountain".

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dmc
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People this is a 2yr old post. Please stop posting questions, advise etc.

Someone, instead of PMing the original poster, brought it up to ask for an update.

Posts: 2675 | From ct, usa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ping
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catskill, I am so sorry to hear this and would be absolutely outraged! [Mad]

It's instances like this that make me more and more certain that TORT reform is ridiculous. Some physicians and other health workers need to be sued and have their licenses revolked!

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ping
"We are more than containers for Lyme"

Posts: 1302 | From Back in TX again | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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