Scary experience in phosph - we must always remain vigilant warrior moms

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have been meaning to write this since difficult child left phosph for Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I have not had the time or presence of mind - but this this an important message for all of us with kids that are in, or may be going into a psychiatric unit or out of home situation.

    While in phosph, supposedly the best one in Dallas, the hospital discontinued 2 of difficult children medications without realizing it. Despite me telling them twice, and signing 15 pieces of paper authorizing the medication regimen he is on, to be given, the phosph overlooked the fact that difficult child was on Lamictal and Paxil. Consequently he was not given those medications for 5 days. D/cing the Lamictal without titrating down could have caused possible serious, life threatening complications.

    In this same phosph a year ago, my son was almost given another child's medications who had the same first name. Luckily, difficult child realized it. Now this.

    Lesson I have learned from this, and one I hope we all apply, is
    A) Make the nurse read off his medication regimen every night to us on the phone
    B) Make sure the kids have arms bands that are being scanned to match the kid to the medication
    C) Ask our kids every night when we get to talk to them on the phone if their medications look the same as the ones as they take at home

    Any other suggestions you guys have, please give.

    With a certain child and certain medications this type of scenario could have been deadly. We can never stop being their advocate, even when we think someone competent and qualified has it all taken care of.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Boy, that's pretty bad for this to happen in a psychiatric hospital. It doesn't sound like they have competent staff. Did difficult child try to tell them? They could have called you if they weren't going to take his word for it (I would have understood that). The juvy staff botched my son's medications a couple of times- gave him 1/2 the lithobid he was supposed to get. I wasn't shocked (steamed but not shocked), but there is no excuse for this happening in a psychiatric hospital.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, that's a pretty good list, Steely.
    Amazingly, our kids are the ones who are the most apt to pick up on this. As you pointed out, your son realized that the other kid's medications weren't his.
    Of course, discontinuing medications is more difficult.

    Even in a regular hospital, this can happen. I am big on having an advocate with-you all the time. You can't do that in a phsop, but your suggestions are great.

    So sorry you two had to go through that. You are both wiser today because of it.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    That is very scary - those are excellent advise.

    You would think staff would have a strict protocol in giving medications. I like how difficult child's pediatrician office asks him his last name and his date of birth before giving him services.

    Medication is one area that staff had better not let their guard down - it is serious stuff.

    Maybe add: Ask staff the process of distributing medications and making sure each patient is given the right one.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Definitely important to remember!

    And this can happen with adults, too! When husband was in for his surgery, they TWICE tried to give him the wrong dose of Lamictal. We both sat there and argued with the nurse about it -- her instructions were WRONG.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    thanks for sharing this. Even in the best of places mistakes are made. We found FAR MORE problems, including medication problems at the fancy "nice" psychiatric hospital where Wiz had 2 acute stays (including simply stopping one SSRI medication - no titrating down and no other SSRI given) than at the "not nice" psychiatric hospital where Wiz spent 4 months. I found many more safety measures in place in the "not nice" one - in spite of other parents telling me there was no budget at this place, and telling me that they only took medicaid patients so it was looked down on.

    It is crucially important, for those of us with kids who have medication or other allergies and intolerances for the kids to ALWAYS know their allergies and medications AND to empower our kids to speak up about them.

    thank you had very severe food intolerances and allergies. When he was first in school they would often go to Jessie to ask about certain foods if I wasn't able to be reached by phone. She had taken it on herself to be aware of what caused problems for thank you, and it was a great help at school. thank you, at age 4, also was able to tell the staff that he couldn't have something, which protected him from having reactions. He is one of the lucky kids with food problems, because the foods that he reacts to tasted terrible to him, so he didn't sneak them. And he was very firm about avoiding the taste of the foods, or the textures of them, so adults had no luck telling him he "had to" drink orange juice or whatever. He could tell if pineapple juice was in a drink with just a sniff or small sip - he loathed it AND had respiratory problems from it.

    We ALL need to empower our kids to stand up for themselves, and support them when they do.

    I am so sorry the psychiatric hospital (a place that should understand the dangers of rapid medication changes) was able to treat your son so poorly. I hope you complained in writing and filed grievance papers - ALL acredited hospitals have a grievance procedure.

    I hope you are doing better now, I know how hard it is to have your child removed from your home.

    Many hugs,

  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How very scary and thanks for sharing the list. It is important for us not to take for granted that they are giving the right medications.