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Tell the ER docs that your kid isn't vaxed?!

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I was reading an article yesterday on ER visits (don't ask me why, we never go to the ER!) and one of the things it said is always tell the ER staff if your kid isn't vaxed because it's critical information.

Can someone explain this to me?!?! I don't really understand how it could be critical that they know (especially since the same diseases can show up in fully vaxed kids!) and I feel like it would just prejudice their care and shift the focus off the emergency situation.

Would you tell ER staff? And if you wouldn't bring it up yourself, what would you say if you were directly asked, "Is he fully vaccinated?"
post #2 of 43
Quote:
" (especially since the same diseases can show up in fully vaxed kids!)"
You know this, and I know this, but some doctors either don't know this, refuse to believe it, or think that the chances of a fully vaxed child contracting a VAD are so remote that it does not merit consideration.

There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices, order invasive testing based soley on vaccine status, and treat their children with hostility due to vaccine status. Others have had no trouble at all, or just a raised eyebrow.

Some here have a personal policy of only reporting vaccine status if they think the doctor may overlook something relevant (so no for a broken arm). I think if I revealed this information it would be followed by "and her regular doctor supports our decision."
post #3 of 43
I would disclose it, because I wouldn't want them to overlook a potentially serious illness, based solely on the fallacy that the child couldn't have XYZ because s/he is vaccinated. When my ds had whopping cough at 8 months old, it was only my persistence that got him the proper screening; they had ruled out whooping cough because he completed the primary DTaP series.
post #4 of 43
To me it is only important if you are taking them in for an illness that you dont know what it is. To me taking a child in for a cut or break they dont need to know vax status because it is irrelevant.

Since I have no intention of getting a tetanus vax there in the ER it is irrelevant if you plan to allow/consider the vax then you should tell.

I have yet to disclose my no vax status for an ER visit for either of my kids because going in I already knew exactly what was wrong with both of them and it had nothing to do with vax status.
post #5 of 43
First off I would question why they would rule out whooping cough in a vaccinated child when it is one the most common illnesses that fully vaccinated children get.

I always answer "yes" when they ask is your child fully vaccinated. I would answer different if they asked is your child vaccinated to the CDC standards or the according to the feds. I answer yes because our children are fully vaccinated to our standards (that one that counts ). We spend a lot of time in the hospital and the ER with our 10 year old (he has health problems) really this has never been an issue. A couple of times a nurse has made a huge deal about Liam not having his flu shots and I asked and you are uptodate on juvenile arthritis and the flu shot and the recommendation for this? This always shuts them up immediately.
post #6 of 43
If asked I am completely honest about my medical history when I go to the ER, I cannot for any reason think why I shouldn't be completely honest about my children's medical history either.
post #7 of 43
The reason is a few people have had CPS called on them when they refuse a vax or claimed a religious exemption. No these people didnt loose their kids but a case was opened against them and they had to go through to get CPS off their backs. I for one dont want to risk that happening to me. Even if the risk is small it is not one I am willing to take.

So at every visit when they ask "Is he/she up to date on vax?" My answer is always yes he/she is.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
If asked I am completely honest about my medical history when I go to the ER, I cannot for any reason think why I shouldn't be completely honest about my children's medical history either.
Here are three:

  1. There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses (as in the children are not being treated) who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices.
  2. Invasive testing is ordered (such as a lumbar puncture for an infant) based solely on vaccine status.
  3. Children have been treated roughly or with hostility due to vaccine status.
post #9 of 43
I lied, and I would again. Ok it would never come up again since I don't have any minor children anymore. Sorry but there are nut case Drs and nurses that think it's medical neglect to not vax. Vax status does not mean the child does/doesn't have any illness so the answer is irrelevant to the diagnosing of disease.
post #10 of 43
I don't see any point in lying to doctors, especially concerning my children.

We've been asked about our vaccination status on each ER visit and have never been hassled, lectured or had CPS files opened on us. It's a non-issue.
post #11 of 43
I would personally never lie about my child's medical history.

fwiw we have spent a lot of time in ERs b/c of dd's medical condition, and I have only been asked twice what her vax status was. I simply said that she was not up to date on her vaxes and we moved on to the next question. It was never mentioned again. I'm not saying that is always the case, but that has been our experience.
post #12 of 43
i have been to the ER 2 times for dd's asthma.

first time the dr asked i said she was vaxed up to 2 year shots and she will not and is not to have any more vaxes. he looked at me and said that is fine with him and that was the end of that boy was i shocked first time dealing with dr's and vaxes.

second time i never even got asked. i was there in the ER for 6 hours with dd vaxed to 2 years and ds unvaxed. the nurse did have have us wait for 10 min in intake because she was having the room extra cleaned this included washing the walls with cleaners but i didnt know this at the time if i did i would of said to skip it. we have allergies and asthma to clearners so we were dying from it.

in my mind vaxed or unvaxed they need to look at everything when a child is sick for a unknown reason
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Here are three:

  1. There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses (as in the children are not being treated) who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices.
  2. Invasive testing is ordered (such as a lumbar puncture for an infant) based solely on vaccine status.
  3. Children have been treated roughly or with hostility due to vaccine status.
I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
Yes, this is true and ITA but since we are talking about an ER visit, the idea is that it is an emergency.

What next to do? Remove the child, leave and drive to another hospital?

I have a hospital almost in my backyard, but the next closest one is three highways away.

I am mostly just reading this thread though b/c I do not know exactly what I would do. If my child was so sick or injured that I had to take her to the ER, I would be scared to announce her vaccine free status, but at the same time, lying can come back and bite you and it's not something I want to do.

I've heard some people lying by omission or assumption. "Is your child up to date?" Yes, she is (according to the mom's definition). Sneaky though.

How sad that we have to do this to get emergency care for our children!
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I can understand these fears, however I just want to point out that if a medical doctor would do any of these things, then they aren't a good doctor or at a good hospital to begin with. Even if I had a vaxed child, and did things at home with my kids that completely jived with the medical facilities ideals, I can't imagine my child would be given proper and good care by the same people who would give a child improper and inadequate care to a non-vaxed child, you know what I mean?
No, I do not know what you mean.

You probably live in an area in which you have a choice of doctors and hospitals. The rest of us are not so lucky. So we often take pot luck and hope for the best and do what is in the best interest of our child in each and every particular ER situation.

Remember also, that accidents occur to children while on holiday in another community, so a parent does not always know the mindset of the particular ER team when they take their child in.

For most medically trained personnel, an unvaccinated child = child neglect and abuse. They see it as their mission to berate and punish the parent and overtreat the child while the child is in the control of their ER, and possibly look for other forms of neglect and abuse to call to the attention of DSS or CPS to further investigate the parents and home situation.

And remember, if you are taking in a child less than two months old and/or the child is born at home, it is SOP to give this child a spinal tap in many ERs. Medical personnel consider the outside to be dirty and they treat babies born outside of the hospital as dirty.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
There have been people who have had their child's illness ignored by doctors/nurses who would rather lecture/berate parents for their vaccine choices, order invasive testing based soley on vaccine status, and treat their children with hostility due to vaccine status.


When an ambulance takes one of us to the ER, it goes to the nearest available ER. That generally means one of two hospitals. One hospital didn't give us any problems about not vaxing. The other one... Well, the ER doc harassed me, called the hospital social worker on me for medical neglect, insisted on a ridiculous amount of blood being drawn from my son (who has hard-to-find veins, so they were torturing him), and wanted to catheterize my son and do a spinal tap. All because he had a febrile seizure from a fever spike - and because we didn't vax. If we vaccinated, he would've found the fever cause much earlier - a simple ear infection. Because we didn't vaccinate, he decided to punish me and my infant son. He insisted that my son must have a VPD, and so he needed all these invasive tests. I declined the catheter (bagged instead for the urine sample) and the spinal tap (are you freakin' kidding me?!?). I knew I had to allow the blood draw or else they would've pushed the medical neglect charge beyond the hospital walls. Doctors have far too much power. Doctors with an agenda are dangerous to families like mine.

I've decided to answer the question like this: Look at my child. Look at his symptoms. Any vaccinated child can still get the diseases an unvaccinated child can get. I don't want my child to be overlooked because you believe that vaccines provide 100% protection, or because you believe that unvaccinated children are constantly contagious with vaccine-preventable diseases. My child's vaccination status doesn't matter. You will do a more thorough job without that information.
post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I've decided to answer the question like this: Look at my child. Look at his symptoms. Any vaccinated child can still get the diseases an unvaccinated child can get. I don't want my child to be overlooked because you believe that vaccines provide 100% protection, or because you believe that unvaccinated children are constantly contagious with vaccine-preventable diseases. My child's vaccination status doesn't matter. You will do a more thorough job without that information.
I love this answer!!!!!!!!!
post #18 of 43
You aren't necessarily there because of disease. The only time I had to take dd to the emergency room was when she hit her head on the coffee table when learning to walk. She did need stitches, and yes they asked if she was up to date on vaxes and yes I lied. It was irrelevant to the reason I was there anyway. I wasn't going to invite trouble.
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
To me it is only important if you are taking them in for an illness that you dont know what it is. To me taking a child in for a cut or break they dont need to know vax status because it is irrelevant.

Since I have no intention of getting a tetanus vax there in the ER it is irrelevant if you plan to allow/consider the vax then you should tell.

I have yet to disclose my no vax status for an ER visit for either of my kids because going in I already knew exactly what was wrong with both of them and it had nothing to do with vax status.


I agree with this. If ds ever had to go to the ER and we had no idea what was wrong with him...I would probably tell them about his vax status. Other than that, I wouldn't. Thankfully, we haven't had to deal with it. I pray we never will. When I had to take ds to a doc outside of town, it was a knee jerk reaction to say 'yes, he is vaccinated' because I never care to open a can of worms, whether it be a medical professional, mom at the park or sometimes even family and friends.
post #20 of 43
What a timely thread. Ds was in the ER this morning with a fever, vomiting and pain in the neck. Since we were concerned about meningitis I did reveal vax status. The dr questioned it, but more in a friendly way than in an "I'm out to get you" way. We had an interesting discussion on vaccines (after my ds was diagnosed with strep, not meningitis). Other times (when we've been in the ER for something that has nothing to do with vaccines) I've said "Owen is current on his vaccinations according to my schedule and with his doctors knowledge". At our local ER (well, we have 3 but I only use one for my ds) they ask vax status every single time we go in (which, unfortunately, is quite a lot ).

ETA- when ds had to go to the ER this summer (and was admitted for 4 days) due to high fever (107) and belly pain nobody questioned our vax decision, outside of the original "is he up to date on his vaccines".
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