Feb 082013
 

On-call OB: “Here, take this.” (passing pill to mother in pre-term labor at 33 weeks.)

Mother: “What is it?”

OB: “It’ll stop your labor.”

Mother: “I’d hope so since that’s why I’m here, but what is the NAME of this?”

OB: “It doesn’t matter, now take it or we have to start IV stuff.”

Mother: “Well I am NOT consenting to mag sulfate since it only speeds up my labor and that pill doesn’t look a thing like terbutaline or breathine. What is it?”

OB: “Mag sulfate does not do that. To anyone. And it’s not, now take it.”

Mother: “So is it procardia?”

OB: “What the hell does it matter? Yes, that’s what it is.”

Mother: “I’m not taking that.”

OB: “Well. I say you are, now shut up and take it.”

Mother: “Are you stupid!? That will kill me!”

OB: “People don’t die in hospitals.”

Mother: “My wrist band and chart BOTH say I’m deathly allergic to that. Get me something or someone else!”

OB: “That’s it, I’m discharging you and it’s your fault when the baby dies, because it will, and I’m putting in that you refused treatment so good luck if you come back here.”

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 February 8, 2013  informed consent, OB  Add comments

  78 Responses to ““…People Don’t Die In Hospitals…””

  1. Well, so long Thoughtful Thursday. Welcome to Freaking Idiot Friday. OP, I’m so sorry you were verbally assaulted by your OB when he tried to kill you! UGH!

  2. I hope you called the police, as well as your lawyer, and filed charges alledging attempted murder & malpractice.

  3. You know, the VAST majority of comments here do not indicate any sort of malice or, say… “depraved indifference.” And I firmly believe that most HCPs have at least *what they think* are the patient’s “best interests” at heart– even when they are wrong. And that the vast majority of HCPs are not straight up jerkholes.

    But this one…

    Just…

    Wow.

    I mean, it’s SO bad, it’s almost unbelievable.

  4. Sorry you had to deal with Dr. McHeadUpButt. Good for you for standing your ground, many patients don’t and this is why doctors like him/her are still in practice. I hope you filed a complaint with the hospital and the AMA.

  5. I don’t get it. What do some doctors have against informing their patients what they’re taking? Why couldn’t he have simply said, “It’s Procardia, it’ll stop your labor” the first time she asked? He still would have been an idiot for not reading the chart and seeing she was allergic, but still. At least he wouldn’t have been a belligerent idiot, just the normal kind.

  6. Is it really that hard to prescribe a medication that she’s not allergic to? Plus then using the dead baby card against her allergic reaction?
    I guess I’ve just been lucky. My own allergy doctors take seriously. I wear a big red band on my wrist and haven’t been given iodine.

    • You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I or my parents have told a doctor that I’m severely allergic to penicillin, who will then turn around and give me a prescription for penicillin.

  7. I shudder when I think what could have happened if the mother hadn’t questioned the doctor and just blindly trusted him! A mother in anaphylactic shock being wheeled into an emergency C-section could have easily screwed up this doctor’s statistic of “nobody dies in hospitals”.

  8. Waiting for the pink link. Hopefully mom was able to stop labor somehow.
    That doctor – wow honestly I don’t believe in many lawsuits, but I would have sued that one. I would have insisted on documenting what he wants to give me, to show it was contraindicated. As much as that obgyn wants to believe he can just give her drugs and discharge her, wrong. Get the patient advocate in there stat, also you can always ask for a different doc (even if it’s no other obgyn, a fp will do).

  9. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Unbelievable, and I hope very formal/detailed complaints were filed at all necessary/possible places.

  10. Wow…just, wow.

    Sadly, I DO believe this happened. Wish I didn’t. I’m just horrified at what that fool put you through. The arrogance of some people. Actually, I was just watching that new show “Monday Mornings,” and something along the same lines happened to a patient, a little boy with a paternal history of an uncontrolable bleeding disorder. His surgeon 1) didn’t seek out a 2nd opinion/consult with another surgeon and 2) didn’t get a complete family history (the father’s who was out of the picture). The guy raking him over the coals at the Monday Morning M&M was able to easily get the father’s history. The kid would have died, but in the arms of his mother later on, not that day, scared and on an OR table. “Arrogant” was what they called the surgeon for thinking his first course of treatment was the only one. Much like your on-call OB’s.

    I too hate that lawsuits have forced OBs to practice defensive medicine, but THIS is what they were meant for. Just in case reporting him/her to the hospital, state medical board, and AMA only got him/her a slap on the wrist, losing a bunch of $$ (of the hospitals and/or his or her own) would help teach any OB a lesson in arrogance, details, and just plain stupidity.

    I would love to hear that the OP didn’t get discharged after complaining to someone else there and got the treatment she needed, or at least went to another nearby hospital that treated her correctly, and quickly.

  11. This is mine.

    The whole situation was a mess. I was high risk and had already had my labor stopped 4 times by 30 weeks. To make matters worse, we were at a military hospital and this wench refused my requests to call in my HR OB stating that “high risk is just a sympathy card” and then laughed when my husband demanded my HR OB be called in stating “I out rank you, I don’t have to.” I don’t even remember what her rank was, but she seemed to think it made her some sort of god. She did stick to her word though, she wrote me up as a difficult patient who left AMA after refusing treatment and even put in that should I come back, a psych consult was needed! I guess what she didn’t count on was the ICE reports my husband and I both filed AND the civilian nurses paging security when I came back the next day though because she eventually lost her rank and the ability to practice in that hospital.

    She actually tried to force the procardia on me a again only she waited until my husband stepped out to run one floor down to the OB clinic to personally explain what was going on to my OB while the nurse spent nearly a half hour trying to figure out why she couldn’t register me (we later found out this moron actually left my file opened so I couldn’t be readmitted until she signed off and closed it in the computer). She tried to bully me into taking it, eventually stating it was the only medication she would allow me to have because they could always “save at least the baby” (I thought I couldn’t die if I took it in a hospital?). I guess she was used to her rank always getting her her way and didn’t get many patients that stood up for themselves because she was shouting at me by the time my husband got back and the nurses had paged security on her. She actually told my OB “she HAS to listen to me, I’m the doctor and I out rank her!” (I am not a service member, my husband is) and my OB not so politely reminded her that her rank means nothing with A) civilian spouses and B) cannot override the patients’ bill of rights. I’ve dealt with horrible doctors before, but she takes the cake. I almost switched providers because of the whole thing. The only reason I wound up staying was my OB convinced me not let that woman win and the closest NICU, should one be needed, was right there on post. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on complete bedrest and being watched very closely the next couple of weeks because my HR OB was actually scared for the health of my unborn daughter from all the stress of those 2 days.

    • Oh my God, she was willing to let you die so your baby could possibly survive? She’s the one that needs a psych evaluation. Good lord…

      • So the medicine was to stop preterm labor, but if you took the medicine it would probably kill you and they would have to deliver the baby anyway. So how is taking it supposed to help the baby anyway?!?! This lady was completely freaking insane!

      • Basically. And at that point we didn’t even know if my daughter would survive birth because 3 sonograms indicated her heart was malformed. Thankfully I made it to 39 weeks and she was completely healthy, but I can’t help but think how many people this moron could have hurt if I just didn’t bother with the ICE complaint like so many other people.

      • Possibly is a very key word here. As it was, 3 sonograms by that point had indicated an unidentifiable malformation with my daughter’s heart. Thankfully I made it to 39 weeks and my daughter’s heart is perfectly fine.

        • I am so happy to hear this! This “care” is the definition of malpractice. I’m glad you reported her and that it was not ignored by the higher-ups! She had no business practicing medicine if she was willing to ignore an allergy and everything else!

    • I guess she figured that if you died, she could just order you to come back to life, since she outranks you.

      I’m glad she lost her privileges there. Too often I hear about military doctors and nothing gets done.

    • It’s nowhere near the justice you deserve, but it is good to hear some of these idiots getting their licenses justifiably ripped out of their hands. If you had been at a civilian hospital, you would’ve had a multi-million dollar lawsuit against that woman. I’m so sorry you were treated that way. How is your baby now? How are you?

      • My daughter is perfectly fine, no thanks to this OB. Tricare would not approve progesterone for the remainder of my pregnancy so we had a few more early labor scares, but we managed to make it to 39 weeks to give her the best chance and she is now a happy, healthy 20 month old :)

    • This woman sounds like a psycho bitch! Really happy to hear she’s not endangering any more women and babies. Just out of curiosity, supposing you were an active duty member and she happened to outrank you, could she have forced you to take the med? Are members of the military really not entitled to informed consent?

      • Patients Bill of Rights trumps the Drs Rank. The servicemember would probably have to call the patient advocate. However, all the military docs save one (in the last 10yrs) haven’t seemed as concerned with their rank. My hubby says that he is an active perticipant in his healthcare. At least this is my understanding and could be wrong.

      • No, her rank doesn’t trump the patients rights. Some doctors seem to think it does, and sadly some soldiers think those doctors are right, but for the most part I’ve recieved no difference of care civiliam or military outside of this doctor and one other.

      • It would have been considered an unlawful order and a service member no matter what their rank would not be obligated to follow it. I think the article which would be most pertinent would be article 90 from the UCMJ (Military Laws) with this part being key.

        “(iii) Relationship to military duty. The order must relate to military duty, which includes all activities reasonably necessary to accomplish a military mission, or safeguard or promote the morale, discipline, and usefulness of members of a command and directly connected with the maintenance of good order in the service. The order may not, without such a valid military purpose, interfere with private rights or personal affairs. However, the dictates of a person’s conscience, religion, or personal philosophy cannot justify or excuse the disobedience of an otherwise lawful order. Disobedience of an order which has for its sole object the attainment of some private end, or which is given for the sole purpose of in-creasing the penalty for an offense which it is expected the accused may commit, is not punishable under this article.”

    • Wow, wow, triple wow. Insane! I know several docs in Germany who are military, and they are nice enough or at least decent, if sometimes stricter than usual. However, this person you dealt with is the incarnation of someone on a power trip at it’s worst. I’m glad she lost her rights there, and I’m glad everything turned out fine, and that you and your husband knew your rights and weren’t intimidated by her.

    • “I don’t know what rank she was”

      I’m betting some little baby 1LT who thinks she’s hot stuff for getting to skip a whole rank.

      • Doctors in the military are typically captains (rank O3) during residency and then promoted to Major (rank O4) shortly after residency.

        http://www.militarygme.org/1.html

        For equivalent rank names across the services you can look here: http://www.defense.gov/about/insignias/officers.aspx

        The reasoning is that they are higher in the chain of command than nursing and other commissioned hospital staff so you shouldn’t have a second lieutenant doctor in charge of a bunch of nurses who are captains. Granted there are times when you will have a nurse who outranks the doctors, i.e. when she becomes a lieutenant colonel, but that is rare and usually that person is now in charge of the nursing staff and isn’t on the floor with the rest of the nurses, so there isn’t an issue of outranking during day to day duties.

        The higher rank is NOT meant to allow doctors a higher rank than their patients so they can order them to do whatever they want. As mentioned before, the rank does not overrule the patient bill of rights and any servicemember can refuse an unlawful order. An order to take something that you know will harm or possibly kill you would fall under the umbrella of unlawful for sure.

    • This blows my mind. I’m so glad that you knew your right and didn’t budge! It also sounds like your husband was a rock star throughout this, in defending you so absolutely.

    • Oh my wow… military OBs can be the worst of them all. I have had a terrible experience myself with them. Which MTF was this at if you dont mind sharing.

      • Fort Lewis out in Washington. They were having problems with several of their pediatricians there as well when we were there (stationed for 4 years, left in 2011). 1 assaulted my special needs son (forcibly held him down to the bed to try to perform a procedure my husband and I both refused several times. She no longer works there last I knew) and another falsified test results because he didn’t feel like sending my son for an evaluation for hearing aids, so my son needs to be tested again because of conflicting reports (the hearing specialist’s saying yes he needs hearing aids and the pedi’s saying he passed the exam perfectly). I honestly would not recommend the medical facility to a dying cat. I was hit by a truck and left in the ER waiting room for 6 hours while exhibiting signs of a broken back and severe head trauma because they misplaced my chart and forgot I was there. I honestly did not believe how horrible the care was at this post until we were stationed there. I would never willingly go back, but if we ever do, I refuse to use their medical facilities.

    • All I can say, other than I’m sorry that you had such an awful experience, is that I’m glad to hear that, in the end, you and your daughter are both okay.

    • You were on complete bed rest until 39 weeks?

  12. The whole situation was a mess. I was high risk and had already had my labor stopped 4 times by 30 weeks. To make matters worse, we were at a military hospital and this wench refused my requests to call in my HR OB stating that “high risk is just a sympathy card” and then laughed when my husband demanded my HR OB be called in stating “I out rank you, I don’t have to.” I don’t even remember what her rank was, but she seemed to think it made her some sort of god. She did stick to her word though, she wrote me up as a difficult patient who left AMA after refusing treatment and even put in that should I come back, a psych consult was needed! I guess what she didn’t count on was the ICE reports my husband and I both filed AND the civilian nurses paging security when I came back the next day though because she eventually lost her rank and the ability to practice in that hospital.

    She actually tried to force the procardia on me a again only she waited until my husband stepped out to run one floor down to the OB clinic to personally explain what was going on to my OB while the nurse spent nearly a half hour trying to figure out why she couldn’t register me (we later found out this moron actually left my file opened so I couldn’t be readmitted until she signed off and closed it in the computer). She tried to bully me into taking it, eventually stating it was the only medication she would allow me to have because they could always “save at least the baby” (I thought I couldn’t die if I took it in a hospital?). I guess she was used to her rank always getting her her way and didn’t get many patients that stood up for themselves because she was shouting at me by the time my husband got back and the nurses had paged security on her. She actually told my OB “she HAS to listen to me, I’m the doctor and I out rank her!” (I am not a service member, my husband is) and my OB not so politely reminded her that her rank means nothing with A) civilian spouses and B) cannot override the patients’ bill of rights. I’ve dealt with horrible doctors before, but she takes the cake. I almost switched providers because of the whole thing. The only reason I wound up staying was my OB convinced me not let that woman win and the closest NICU, should one be needed, was right there on post. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on complete bedrest and being watched very closely the next couple of weeks because my HR OB was actually scared for the health of my unborn daughter from all the stress of those 2 days.

  13. “People don’t DIEin hospitals”? Am I missing something here?

    • The same thing I’m missing too apparently since the very next day she popped of with the bit about saving my baby if I did in fact die.

      • Perhaps she planned to toss you out the window first so you didn’t die *in* the hospital.

        • Oh, okay! Now I understand. She doesn’t batshit crazy medical procedures on you and kicks you out before the bad stuff happens. Makes so much more sense when I think in terms of crazy people logic.

          • There’s an urban legend out there that whenever someone dies in Disneyland, they make the officials call the death outside the park so they can say nobody’s ever died in Disneyland.

          • The whole thing just sounds like she was completely convinced of her own power. She has *rank*… that overshadows patient rights… and allergies… and death. If she does not permit it… it will not happen. If it does somehow still happen she will order it away so it did not happen.

            The same sort of bizarre illusion that is part of the Disneyland legend. This cannot happen at the happiest place on earth… so we shall issue our so powerful orders to erase away anything that questions the power of that fact. Rank (and Mickey) *must* have its privaleges. :(

          • I went to a conservative Christian college for a semester once and they claimed that they are the safest campus in the state. After my suitemate was raped, they kicked her and her attacker out of the school and covered the whole thing up. This is how they kept up their appearances.

  14. She thinks rank means a damn thing up against a pregnant woman? Uh…no.

  15. Sadly, this sort of “I know best” situation doesn’t only happen in the military. I had an ER doctor *insist* on repeatedly giving me Phenergan(sp?). Even when the nurses were telling him that I would stop breathing and go into convulsions. Turns out that I’m deathly allergic to it. And then he didn’t tell me the name of the medication that was doing this. I found out what it was years later from an ER nurse when I was miscarrying at 13 weeks and she needed to give me an anti-emetic to go with the morphine.
    I am *SO* glad that it all turned safe for you you and your little one, OP!!

  16. OP, I don’t suppose this was at Evans, was it?

  17. Actually, approx. 3780 people die in US hospitals per DAY. Nice try.

  18. A complete horror of a ‘medical professional’ who should never be allowed near a patient.

  19. People don’t die in hospitals? BRILLIANT! I’ll just go pick up my Nan M and Pa C then, shall I? If you mean just babies and mothers, then I suppose I’ll settle for picking up my baby cousin. Possibly my son, I’m not sure where exactly we were when he died – maybe the flicker we saw during that fateful ultrasound *was* his final heartbeat and he died-but-didn’t-really-die in hospital…

    Yup, I’m pissy at this one ;)

  20. Step one: Come up with a caricature of a bad OB
    Step two: Make up some stilted and unrealistic dialogue
    Step three: Sit back and enjoy the righteous indignation of those who can’t suss out fake scenarios and bad dialogue

    • Are you saying the OP is lying?

      • It doesn’t matter what she thinks, my husband and I know what really happened and how awful this doctor was. Obviously there was a lot involved with her losing rank and losing te ability to care for patients there, more than our one incident, but all I know is ours was one of the final events with her that caused serious ramifications for her

    • Hala, we’re not supposed to feed the trolls.. But, just incase you are simply totally naive..

      Do you seriously and honestly believe that every health professional in existence is completely and entirely immune to the effects of things such as : drug abuse and/or mental illness ? If not.. would you then agree that such things as drug abuse and/or mental illness can make people behave totally irrationally or in a delusional manner?

      I have a feeling that this doctor was mentally ill or on some type of drug. I agree that it isn’t normal burnt out medical professional behavior to insist that someone take a medication they are anaphylactic allergic to after finding out that the person is anaphylactic allergic to said medication.. and it’s certainly not rational behavior to try to keep the patient from getting appropriate care to punish them. No, it’s not normal, and yes, it sounds like this doctor was bordering on or was delusional. However, to automatically assume that any totally ridiculous or delusional seeming behavior on the part of a medical professional is a LIE, is also rather irrational.

      Look at the hundreds (or is it several thousand now?) of stories that have been submitted to this website. I’ve read a couple years of them, myself. Now, count how many of them the medical professional sounds delusional or totally irrational vs. burnt out, garden-variety mean in general, ignorant to how their treatment is actually harming someone often in a rather horrific manner, misunderstood, talking in poor taste, or rarely sadistic. Generally speaking, the med pros quoted on here do NOT sound delusional (nor do they generally sound sadistic, but that’s more common than delusional). I would estimate that it’s way less than 1% of the submissions where the med pro sounds like they’ve lost their freaking marbles like this. Now, do you agree or disagree that just by chance and happenstance of all of these submissions of encounters with med pros, someone who submitted one and experienced poor treatment is BOUND to have encountered a delusional med pro (and this just happens to be a doctor) vs your other types of situations?

      Even if this scenario were a made up one.. I don’t believe it is, but even if it were.. I could believe that one just like it has played out many times.

      Logic. Please use it.

      • This. I am a geriatric nurse. most MDs and other professionals I work with are great and most are at least competent. But I have encountered a very few (maybe 5 to 10 in 9 years) who are belligerent and power mad to the point of patient harm, too arrogant to listen to anything, in intense denial about their patient’s condition, or honestly either demented or mentally unbalanced. Thank god they have been a small minority, but they absolutely exist. I believe this one.

        • Unless it’s on the news, people very rarely believe a medical professional can be so overbearingly insane. I guess to some people, who don’t realize things on a site like this are sometimes edited for posting purposes and thus come across as “bad dialog”, crazy doctors only exist in the media when they are being brought to justice and can no longer harm anyone.

        • Very true. My father has managed an ICU for 20 years and he has some doctor stories that could make your toes curl. Unfortunately some become doctors because they like the power trip.

      • Nope. I believe the bulk of the incidents on this site and many others are true, given that I’ve encountered power-mad OBs and procedure-worshiping staff myself. However, there are a few, like this one, that are either blatant fiction, or at least serious embellishment. Read it again. The dialogue came from a really bad novel and the poster is, of course, almost McGuiver-like in her heroism. Nauseating that people post fake crap on this site, when there are enough true stories to go around.

        • Wow. So good to have the ultimate diviner of all truth here. What would we do without you to decide for us what is and is not a fake story. I had no idea trolls had such an amazing power. You should go on TV and make some money off of your talent.

        • my first thought is I think it’s hilarious that because something is strange you think it couldn’t possibly have happened. my second thought is how silly it is that you would define her survival instinct as heroism. I wouldn’t mind putting you in this exact situation just to see whether or not you spoke up for yourself, or instead you just decided not to care whether not you died that day. normal people care if they die not just heroicc ones. but anyway you’re clearly a troll, so who really gives a ****.

        • I’m a novelist. I’ve identified absurd dialogue in supposedly non-fictional writing, but this post is not in that category. The dialogue may have been edited by the site owner for clarity and brevity, but it is not unrealistic or unbelievable. The scenario is, unfortunately, not unheard-of. I have a close family member who’s horrifically allergic to commonly used analgesics (novocaine family) and she’s had similar experiences with doctors treating her like an idiot and putting her life needlessly at risk. Just because we don’t want to believe it, doesn’t mean the OP made it up.

          • I sincerely hope you’re not actually a novelist, or at least not a novelist who’s been published. If it’s true, I’ll keep your poor editor in my prayers. Psshh, “non-fictional.”

          • Awww, look, a jackass just called me a horse. How will I ever recover?

            You’re making about as much sense as trolls ever do.

          • OK, since reading isn’t your strong suit either, let me clarify. Your writing is worse than that of my undergrads. One self-published dud does not a competent novelist make.

          • You know, Alyson (whom I’d never met nor heard of before this thread) had the guts to give her name. If you want to play battling credentials, “Professor,” why don’t you do the same?

            The story the OP told (which anyone reasonably intelligent would expect was paraphrased, not transcribed on the spot by a shorthand expert) rang true to me — and I’m a working editor. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

  21. The monster could have been saying people don’t die of allergic reactions in hospitals? Several people, medical and non, have told me that having my daughter vaccinated at the hospital would be perfectly safe since they could stop the life-threatening allergic reactions she has. (No, I didn’t fall for it. I’ve arranged our lifestyle to compensate and shield her from being exposed to something while she’s young and at risk)

  22. He is a complete idiot.He should have his license pulled and he should have to pay her for the crap he pulled on her.

    • she sweetheart, read the pink link. The crazy doctor was a female. And she had her privileges pulled. Although it doesn’t’ say she had her license pulled. I’m worried that much like a pedophile priest she got moved to a new location where she continues to this day.

  23. At first, I was thinking there is no way this was true. It’s just too horrible…right? Then, I read the OP’s post about it happening in a military hospital. I’m a military spousr, too, and I have so many awful experiences with military doctors. My first doctor after I got married used to say everything was alergies. He actually was arrested for neglegence when he diagnosed a man with heartburn and the man died in the parking lot as a result of the heart attack he was having. My daughter’s pediatrician grabbed her by the shoulders, shook her and shouted, “shut up.” And a friend of mine was pregnant with either her forth or fifth child. She hadn’t felt him move for a full day. She went to her doctor on base and it was Saturday, so when she asked for an induction (because she knew from experience that something was wrong) she was told they’d wait until monday, instead. Sunday morning she went into labor. Right after she had delivered her stillborn son, the doctor looked and her and herhusband, laughed, and said, “Looks like I should have Iinduced you yesterday, huh?” Those are just the military doctor stories I can think of off the top of my head.

    • Please tell me you either punched the pedi or filed charges for assaulting your daughter?

      • I could not punch her, because I was holding my other child (a few months old at the time), but I did use my free arm to shove her against the wall and told her to get the f*@# away from my child. I didn’t scream; I was really calm. I think that may have scared her more than if I had shouted. She ran from the room. My husband also went to her commander (he wasn’t at the appointment, I called him. He would have punched her.) and she isn’t there anymore. We were told she was discharged.

    • What kind of psychopath laughs about a still born baby?! And seriously, if anyone grabbed my daughter and shook her like that, they’d probably be filing assault charges against me!

      • Right? That’s like the most terrifying doctor story I’ve heard. The husband actually tried to kill her (I am being literal when I say that). I don’t know exactly how many people tried to restrain him, because he told this story and he wasn’t sure (he said all he could remember is that he was angry that they wouldn’t let him get to her).

        And yeah, that bitch who grabbed my daughter was lucky that (1) I was holding a baby and (2) my husband wasn’t there. There are so many times I wish we hadn’t decided that I could handle it, since it was “just a checkup.” I’m so angry at myself for that.

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