Monday, February 19, 2007

The Stupid Awards, Inaugural Edition

The prizewinner of this week's Stupid Award is a Hispanic woman who brought her child to the ER three times on the same day. The kid had a viral upper respiratory infection and the family's clinic was closed. The first time in, the kid got a chest x-ray (which was negative), a Rapid-Flu nasal wash (which was also negative), and a Rapid-RSV screen (which was also negative). Although the illness was viral, the mom demanded that her son be given an antibiotic. The MD refused. The kid was given Tylenol for a low-grade fever, the family was given a recommendation for an OTC cough suppressant, and the family was sent home with supplemental written discharge instructions in Spanish. She left muttering something in Spanish.

By the way... Who is Ben Dayho?

The second time in, about five hours later, the mother was upset because the kid's fever came back and his cough had not gone away immediately after she gave the kid the OTC cough suppressant; she was also upset that she had to wait to be seen. She was informed that Tylenol can be given every 4 hours, as her previous discharge instructions clearly stated. The MD wrote a scrip for a cough medicine containing phenergan and codeine and the woman was instructed by the MD through a Spanish medical interpreter about how and when to give it. Once again, supplemental written discharge instructions in Spanish regarding the prescription cough medication were provided.

The third time around, about four hours later, they came back. This time, the kid was carried in his dad's(?) arms, while mother stormed angrily into the ER ahead of them. The kid's head was lolling back and forth and his eyes were staring dazedly off into the great whatever.

When questioned, Mother stated that she had given the phenergan/codeine cough medication as prescribed. But when the cough did not go away after a half-hour, she gave him another dose, because the kid's coughing was keeping her awake. A half-hour later, the cough was still there, so Mom gave the kid a third dose. Without a pause, she then accused the MD of writing a prescription for too weak of a dose. Mom found the kid curled up in a ball on the floor in front of the bathroom.

The kid was simply stoned out of his gourd. He turned out fine. Mom, on the other hand, won a complementary chat with the social worker and an expenses-paid referral to CPS by the MD who had seen her all three times and had at last grown weary of Mom's BS.