I’ve been missing in action over the last few weeks due to a family crisis involving serious injuries sustained by my 13 year old granddaughter. She was riding one of those little two wheeled Razor scooters down a hill when the flimsy brakes failed to slow her progress. The front wheel hit a grate in the road and sent her flying through the air. She landed on her side across a curb, bounced 3 feet into the air and came back down on the curb. An ambulance was called and she was rushed to the Hershey Medical Center. Paramedics on the scene radioed ahead with the information of probable life-threatening internal injuries and broken bones.
After 11 hours in the ER, it was finally determined that Ryder had a torn liver and a severed kidney. There were questions about a broken shoulder and upper arm, but the trauma team and orthopaedic team couldn’t seem to agree on it. But then again, the trauma team and the urology team couldn’t agree on the exact severity of the internal injuries, either. Over the next couple of days, there were a multitude of orders issued by physicians from the different teams, but often the orders were in conflict of those issued by a different team. The constant state of confusion caused by doctors who didn’t communicate with each other, as well as failing to communicate with nurses and family, caused total chaos. Pain medications were not being administered before they were changed to different meds. A trauma physician claimed the kidney had been completely severed, while the urologist insisted the kidney was still functioning. Ryder’s abdomen was expanding (presumed to be blood from bleeding) but nothing was being done to monitor how much or rapidly it was expanding.
The parents were told that a watch was being kept on certain blood levels as an indication of possible necessity of surgery, yet when the levels reached the so-called critical level, the numbers were played down as not being important. It was quite clear that the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. It was also quite clear that the biggest block to proper care being afforded was the gigantic egos being sported by the so-called “experts”. To those of us with a front row view, each of these clowns were determined to be the head honcho on the case. They were continually contradicting what a previous physician had claimed. It was definitely a case of too many chiefs and not enough indians. Their over inflated sense of self-importance was leaving my granddaughter to suffer under abysmal care.
Lindsay (my daughter, and Ryder’s mother) has been continuing her education over the last several years. Her original goal was to become a Physician’s Assistant but when her own health became an issue, she decided to change directions. At the present, she is a medical assistant while continuing to pursue a degree in the medical field. The education she has attained thus far has provided her with a great bit of knowledge regarding proper procedures and protocols when dealing with the types of injuries sustained by her daughter.
She was understandably upset over the Medical Center’s inability to communicate effectively, as well as her belief that proper procedures were not being followed. Also understandable was her concern and grief over the possibility of losing her daughter because of poor care and treatment. Yet when she dared to question doctors and/or nurses regarding the often conflicting decisions and determinations, she was met with disdain and annoyance. No matter what question was asked and no matter how diplomatic her approach, the staff behaved as though she was some inbred, uneducated idiot who couldn’t possibly understand the complexity of the issues.
After several attempts to meet with staff as a group (she wanted members from all teams so communication could be achieved), it became clear that the administrators of the hospital were aware of the dangerous water they were treading. Ryder’s case was a lawsuit waiting to happen, and they went into damage control. Since I can’t share all that transpired, suffice it to say that the hospital emergency room started the ball rolling when they decided to send the injured child to the restroom alone, in spite of the fact that she kept losing consciousness and no examinations or tests had been run to determine the extent of injuries. Ryder passed out in the restroom and hit the hard tile floor, needing to be rescued by staff. It’s quite possible her injuries were aggravated by the episode.
Proper medical procedures were not followed in the ER from the moment she entered, most likely because the staff didn’t communicate the truth about her accident. For some reason one of the doctors was under the impression that Ryder had “taken a spill from her bike” as though she had just fallen off. He even asked her if she landed in the grass. I was appalled at his lack of background information and proceeded to fill him in. He shrugged his shoulders and point blank told me, “I don’t think there’s any serious injuries. She’ll be going home shortly.” Mind you, this was prior to the ultrasound and CT scan that should have been done upon arrival but took more than 5 hours to perform. All the while, blood was spilling into her tiny abdomen and pain was wracking her battered body that they insisted was not harmed.
After a two hour meeting with administrators and only one medical team member who bothered to come, Lindsay informed them that she wanted a second opinion regarding Ryder’s condition and the prescribed treatment. She also informed them that she was looking into having Ryder transferred to another hospital altogether. Forewarned of Lindsay’s intentions, the administration went into action.
Lindsay, her sister, a family friend, and I arrived the next morning and found a very upset and agitated Ryder. One of the doctors had called in Child Protective Services claiming that the anger within the family was a threat to Ryder’s welfare. In other words, Lindsay dared to question their knowledge and authority and they didn’t like it. To discredit her (in case she filed a lawsuit) they wanted to have CPS involved as though Ryder’s parents are neglectful or abusive.
Lindsay demanded an audience with the woman who had questioned Ryder. It would seem that the Hershey Medical Center has taken it upon themselves to have their own psychiatric staff to act as CPS, who then places a call to the “real” ones and enquires if there are any open files on the parents in question. If not, then those teams are now alerted that there is a belief of wrongdoing, which prompts even more investigating that reaches into children’s schools and other activities. This is nothing other than a method of manipulation to gain control and authority over parental rights. There was no reason for anyone on the hospital staff to suspect any wrong-doing associated with Ryder’s injuries. There were outside witnesses to what had happened. The ambulance had been called by a woman who witnessed it.
Upon meeting this “woman” who questioned my granddaughter, I was immediately assailed by her utter disdain for those she considered to be beneath her. There was much tossing of her head and crossing her arms across her chest, in a defiant stance which challenged us to trade barbs, but which we did NOT do. I questioned what had prompted the “investigation” and when she responded that a particular doctor had called on her, I gave my daughter a knowing look and grinned, saying “how’d I know?” I had already warned that I didn’t trust the doctor because she became very insulted and annoyed that parents should question her authority.
My “knowing look” and comment only incited the CPS woman further. She demanded to know if I thought her involvement was simply a retaliatory acti0n on the doctor’s part. “Absolutely,” I replied. Well, it all went downhill from there. She proceeded to babble some long and rambling explanation about why the hospital doctors and staff don’t have time to communicate everything to parents and patients. I reminded her that parents and patients have certain rights and that they are not negotiable. That’s when she showed all her true colors. According to her, we lowly patients and family of patients can’t possibly “understand how a hospital works”. We just aren’t smart enough to get it.
That’s when Lindsay lost her cool. She stood up and firmly informed the woman that she certainly does understand how a hospital is SUPPOSED to work because that’s what she’s degreed in and that’s what she does for a living. Surprise!!! Up until that moment, the arrogant clowns had no idea of anyone’s educational or professional background. The psychiatrist woman chose to become a child. Using a taunting tone, she began this weird sing-song litany without coming up for air…”oh! Are you a physician? I didn’t know you were a Doctor! (exaggerated emphasis on the word doctor) I had no idea you’re a doctor. Why didn’t you tell us?…”
With raised eyebrows, I turned to other staff witnessing the exchange and told them, “I guess you’re too stupid to know how a hospital works too because you’re only nurses and support staff. Apparently only doctors know how a hospital works. It might also be an explanation as to why there’s so much chaos here. Simply not enough doctors.” No one appreciated my humor.
Ryder was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While there, it was discovered that the kidney had not been completely severed, but since proper treatment had not been afforded in the time necessary, it was lost. It was also discovered that in addition to the liver and kidney issues, the shoulder had an injury suffered by children but not adults. Apparently, there is a growth plate under the shoulder bone that is difficult to see in x-rays. The amount of pain and lack of mobility was the indication of damage requiring time for healing. Most distressing of all was the discovery that Ryder also suffered a broken back. The Hershey Medical Center failed to identify the injury while insisting that Ryder was well enough to get up and walk around. The broken bones are visible in the CT scans performed at their own hospital but never picked up by doctors until viewed at the Children’s Hospital.
As for the Hershey Medical Center and their absolute belief that they have the authority to usurp a parent’s rights, all you need to do is take a look at their treatment of Scott and Jody Ferris. Jody gave birth in the parking lot of the hospital back in June 2010. The baby was whisked away to be cared for and Jody was installed on the maternity floor. When the hospital demanded that Jody allow them to vaccinate her newborn daughter with the Hep B vaccination, the new mother asked that blood tests for the illness be completed first. Apparently, she was asking too much and the request was an indication to them that Jody is a “bad” parent. They took her daughter from her without any court hearings. They made her get out of her hospital bed and escorted her off the hospital premises, where she was forced to spend the night in her car across the street. She was allowed to come every three hours to nurse her baby. The social worker involved, then allowed the hospital to give the vaccination against Jody’s wishes without any blood tests. The next morning the court awarded her child back into her custody. She is suing, just as I hope my daughter will do.
It’s interesting to note that the Hershey Medical Center is a state owned and operated medical facility. I find it very telling that we have reached a place in our country where the state willfully oversteps its bounds with regards to citizens’ rights. It would seem to me that we are fast approaching an era of the Police State. There have been many hints along the way which have been just as willfully ignored by a population too caught up in their personal trials and tribulations. I believe we will continue to reap the rewards of complacency unless we start doing more than complaining about the atrocities being perpetrated in the false name of safety and protection.
- Big Pharma in Bed with The Vaccine Makers! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
- Medical Minute: Doctor-patient Communication Encourages Safe Rx Use (gantdaily.com)
- Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will tout record research funding, new programs (pennlive.com)
- Health Net Federal Services, Penn State and Red Cross Promote Behavioral Health Symposium for Physicians and Behavioral Health Professionals (fool.com)
- Motions hearing in case of 2 Penn State administrators have wrapped up; no immediate rulings made – @AP (abcnews.go.com)
- Ex-Penn State president disputes sex abuse report (newsok.com)
- Recognizing the Most Brilliant Physicians, The Leading Physicians of the World, Will Showcase Top Orthopedic Surgeon, Max Cohen, MD. (prweb.com)
- Child abuse may be down, but serious injuries up, study says