View Full Version : Hospital Rant!!!

10-17-2002, 12:03 AM
Hi everyone! I need to rant about my DD 2 month appointment! I took her (by myself... DH had to work) to her appointment yesterday. As a first time mom I had sort of prepared myself for her shots, but we had a surprise waiting for us. Her appointment went well and my ped. left to get the stuff for her vacc. A nurse popped her head in and asked, "This is the baby that needs a PKU done, right?" I quickly told her no... Abigail had that done at the hosptial before we left. She left only to return with another nurse and they had her vacc. plus stuff to do a heel prick!!!!! OH NO!!!! I was not prepared to deal with that without DH!!!!
They quickly apologized and explained that the hosptial had screwed up DD's PKU. So DD and I had to endure an hour of being VERY upset. They had to prick both heals twice and I can't even begin to tell you the horrible things I wanted to say to these people that were hurting my angel. DD has recovered quite nicely from her ordeal, but I am still pissed!
So anyone out there that can make me feel better about all the nasty things I wanted (and still want?) to say about this screw-up that my DD's feet and tears had to pay for I'd appreciate it!!!! I'm the only mom out of my pool of friends... so no one I talk to about it understands...

Overprotective-first-time-mom to Abigail 8-14-02

10-17-2002, 06:48 AM
I absolutely sympathize! My Abigail was jaundiced for 4 weeks (and we had an alarmist pediatrician at the time), so she had probably 15 heel-sticks. During one of the later ones, I caught sight of her OTHER heel. The combination of a bleeding right foot and a litle left foot completely covered with slash marks did me in, and I just passed out. Having someone cause pain to your baby is just terrible. Also, I think there are a fair number of inept lab techs out there, which makes a bad thing worse. The whole experience was so terrible that it left me a little traumatized. Now I find myself feeling tearful two weeks before she has to have a shot, and I absoluely hate the nurse.

Go ahead and think mean thoughts. You're not overprotective-- you're a loving mama. All your instincts and biology are geared to protecting this little one, so it's natural that you should be upset when something or someone causes her pain. I'd worry more if it DIDN'T bother you. I don't feel quite as thin-skinned as I did when Abigail was newborn, but there is a vulnerability to having a baby that there is just no preparation for. As I learned, you can literally lose consciousness watching the struggles of an eight-pound little being. I have a quote on my wall: "To have a baby is to accept that your heart will forever go walking around outside your body." When somebody takes a swing at your "heart," it's pretty much unbearable.


Mommy to Abigail Rose

10-17-2002, 06:52 AM
Also, rubbing her little feet with some apricot oil will soothe her and also will help her skin heal. Burt's Bees sells it, and you can find other apricot oil at health food stores. Olive oil also works well.

Oils are also great for removing band-aids from baby skin. Just saturate the bandage and let it sit for a while, and it will slip right off.

Mommy to Abigail Rose

10-17-2002, 08:04 AM
Ooh, thanks for the tip! DS was also jaundiced (but not for 4 weeks, poor thing!) and I was always worried that I was causing more pain than the needles trying to get those dang band-aids off! We have to go in two weeks for our 4-month shots and I am not looking forward to it. I honestly schedule appointments on my days off so that he (and I) can recover under my watch. One thing I found with both heel pricks and with shots is that if I am nursing him while they do it, he doesn't seem to react as strongly. I suppose it soothes them and helps relax their breathing.

Oh, and I just caught some of the CNN crawl (I can't tear my eyes away from it sometime!) about some state passing a law stating that a pregnant woman can use deadly force to protect her unborn baby. So obviously there is an understanding that we protect our children no matter what. (Not suggesting that you use deadly force against your ped/nurse...but I'm sure that we've all had those thoughts at one point :) Hope you're both feeling better!

10-17-2002, 01:41 PM
You have every right to be angry at the hospital, but if I were you, I'd kiss the pediatrician and thank them for picking up on the error!

10-17-2002, 02:45 PM
From above:
Oh, and I just caught some of the CNN crawl (I can't tear my eyes away from it sometime!) about some state passing a law stating that a pregnant woman can use deadly force to protect her unborn baby...

Here's the story - there's been some impact on some of the law blogs of this:

The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the intermediate appellate court's ruling that a pregnant woman can use "defense of others" as a justification for homicide, in protecting her unborn baby. The reasoning is really interesting, a combination of public policy as reflected in statute, and the common law. (Can you tell I just got out of law school?:)) The facts are the woman (who was 16 weeks pregnant) stabbed her boyfriend after he'd punched her in the stomach twice).

If anyone's interested, I have the link to the intermediate appellate court's opinion.

(expecting our first 01/03)

10-17-2002, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the support and the advice about the oil for band aides... dh pulled the last one off and I thought I was going to strangle him! I'm so glad I found an outlet for chatting and picking up advice... thanks!!!
Mommy to Abigail 8-14-02

10-17-2002, 06:31 PM
I sooo know what you are going through. My DD's thyroid levels kept coming back high. Suprise, suprise, I was on extra thyroid medication throughout my pregnancy so no wonder! I told my pediatrician about the thyroid medication, I told the nurse, I told the techs, I even told the specialist they called about her elevated thyroid everyone nodded and smiled and requested more blood.

I guess DD is a fast coagulator (which should be good later on when she starts scraping knees) because they would prick each heel several times. When that no longer worked they had two nurses hold her down while another one searched each arm for veins to draw blood from. Finally someone hit on drawing it from her finger - on prick and they were able to get two vials worth.

All in all it was a HORRIBLE 4 months. Luckily our kids get over this much faster than we do. Its no wonder that the pediatricians leave the room when they do these procedures - they certainly don't want the negative associations sticking to them!

I hope you, and your daughter, are recovering well and that they never have to do this again!

Jen in the Heartland

10-17-2002, 07:54 PM
>>"To have a baby is to accept that your heart will forever go walking around outside your body."

Oh my gosh - I almost started crying! How true. The tech at the hospital came to our room first the morning of the heel-pricks (5:30 am no less!) and spent the next 30 minutes trying to squeeze the blood out of dd's poor little heels. I began crying when I saw that little mouth open, the little lip quiver, and the look of sheer pain on her face. I was clutching my 5 and a half-pounder saying, "Isn't that enough? Maybe she doesn't HAVE anymore blood!" and the tech putting her hands on her hips saying, "If we don't get enough now, they'll send me back to get more later and we'll start this whole process over again."

By the time she was done, dd's heels were swollen and bruised and I couldn't stop sobbing and apologizing to her (dd). The tech acted all irritated because she had gone through all 8 prickers on my girl and she'd have to go back down to the lab to get enough for the 7 other babies. Well sorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy. I know getting tested is a good thing, but I couldn't even talk about it for the next couple days without bursting into tears. I let dd sleep on my chest the rest of the day. Her heels were scabbed for over a week!

Guess I'll count myself fortunate we didn't have a do-over. I totally feel for you though. If something really upsets me, I write a nasty letter and have dh "put it in the mail." He never does, but it makes me feel a little better - like I've just told someone off. haha.

10-25-2002, 07:35 PM
Letting an infant nurse while being stuck or getting shots helps them deal with the pain better. My DS's ped let him nurse while getting his PKU, all his heel pricks (every day for 10 days cuz of jaundice) and getting shots. It didn't keep him from crying completely but it helped. You can offer a bottle or pacifier if your baby isn't breastfed. They've actually done studies that show nursing while getting these procedures causes the little one to release less stress hormones into his or her bloodstream.

10-28-2002, 03:30 PM
DD was also jaundiced for the 1st week. She had over 18 sticks in her tiny little heals and she was a preemie. It was just heart breaking. There was one tech I wouldn't let touch her again because she had blood everywhere but in her little container. I am still traumatized, but DD seems to be over it completely! LOL.

One tip we recieved from our Peds nurse in the hospital, have them put antibiotic cream on the stick and cover with a kiddie bandaid. Not the little circles or adult band aids. The kiddie ones won't take off the skin. This works too after shots.
ALso, just a note to anyone out there expecting, who's baby has to have phototherapy. When they take off those velco tabs (which killed me too!!) Use Aquaphor on them. The red patches went away in hours.

Ans don't feel bad or like your overreacting, It is just instint, which God meant for us to have!

twins r fun
10-28-2002, 05:30 PM
Thought I'd add my own hospital rant and this may be long because I just found out some new information and I am MAD! My twins were preemies-stayed in the hospital 3 weeks and 5 weeks, were on ventilators, daily blood tests, a spinal tap, IV's, etc. I was just happy they were alive so I didn't find it too horrible. Anyway, when he was 9 days old, Jacob's IV slipped out of his vein and all the chemicals entered the surrounding tissue causing basically a chemical burn about the size of a quarter (which is really big on a 5 lb baby). The nurses were supposed to check the IV's every hour, but on this day I had been there at least 3 hours and his nurse had never checked it. I was the one that discovered his leg was swollen to 3 times its normal size. The hospital admitted that it was unfortunate that it happened , but "these things do happen on occasion"-the nurse said she had checked the IV, but I know she did not. They had a plastic surgeon see him and we followed up several times after he came home. The scab fell off after 2 months and he now has a large scar and indentation mid-shin. However, we thought that was the end and if that was the worst of it, so be it.

Lately my husband and I have noticed that he is crawling and walking (with assistance) kind of wierd-he's swinging the leg with the scar out to the side. We talked to a physical therapist and she said he doesn't have the range of motion he needs in that ankle possibly due to scar tissue, or muscle/ligament damage. We got the pediatrician to refer us to an orthopedist on Friday. Today I called for an appointment and he can't be seen until mid December! He should be walking soon and may not learn properly and they want me to wait 6 weeks to get an inital appointment. So DH called the hospital to get them to make a reccomendation and pull some strings so we can get an appointment in a reasonable amount of time-they owe us at least that, right? They of course are worried about liability and are being very cautious about "following procedures" when they talk to us so we are getting nowhere. I don't want to sue them, I just want someone to see my son so he he's able to learn how to walk without a limp! Hopefully we'll get somewhere either through them or through another orthopedist. You'd think if they were so worried about liability they'd be jumping to make us happy just so we don't sue. Thanks for listening!


10-28-2002, 06:37 PM
That's horrible! I should think that the hospital would be doing whatever it could, regardless of liability. They screwed up and they need to take care of any incidences that follow those mistakes! I hope everything works out. Maybe you should go and throw a tantrum somewhere...The squeaky wheel gets the oil...Good luck!

Community Chest
11-07-2002, 01:21 AM
That sucks. Speaking strictly as a med tech, there is nothing complicated about a heel stick. Why come did they have to do it twice?
That is blatant incompetency.

It helps if the little ole heel is warmed first. Footsies sometimes can be cold and this usually helps the sample to be collected faster! :)

twins r fun
11-07-2002, 11:21 PM
Thought I'd add the conclusion (well not really) to my post. We did continue to make noise with the hopsital and the head of the NICU got us an appointment for next week with the head of pediatric orthopedics at Johns Hopkins. The hospital in paying for the initial assessment (and will reevaluate from there), which means we will be able to get x-rays, etc on site as opposed to being referred elsewhere as we would have had to if going through insurance. Yeah! At least they're taking care of it now. Hopefully we'll find out it's not a big deal and he'll walk fine.


11-07-2002, 11:52 PM
Happy to hear that things are progressing! Good luck and please keep us posted!