Nurse mistakenly gave Varicella instead of MMR to my DD. ???'s. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-28-2011, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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We have vaccinated on a delayed schedule.   We only do the bare minimum of what is required for school*: DTap and MMR.   My 6yo DD needed one final booster of MMR to be up to date.  


I mentioned a dozen times that she was to be getting the MMR.   The doc said "She hasn't had the meningitus vax?  Or chicken pox?  Or this?  Or that?"   I say "No, and she is only to get the MMR today."  


I should have checked the bottle.   *kicksself*  Anyway, the nurse gave her the chickenpox vax by mistake and brushes it off saying she needed it anyway.  At the time I was passive because it was well into our dinner hour and I had a screaming 2yo, a screaming 7mo and a now screaming 6yo.   We gave her the MMR and went home.  I thank goodness that I upped her vit C beforehand, and whatnot.  


My question is this:  seeing as she will not be likely to contract the chicken pox naturally, as I had hoped, would it be prudent to get the 2nd varicella vax in 8 weeks?   My original plan was to wait until adolescence and give the vax if they had not contracted immunity naturally.  


I appreciate the input...thank you.  I am also looking into who I should phone about the mistake.  I'm upset that they've taken away her chance at natural immunity and she is now likely looking at boosters for this every 15-20 years.   


*I recognise that I could legally opt out of these, but I believe they are important on a basic level. 

Emily: Homebirthin' mama to 3 boys and a girl.
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#2 of 5 Old 04-28-2011, 09:52 AM
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No - I wouldn't give another vax in 8 weeks. I would wait until the time you were going to originally wait and then get her titres drawn. If she does NOT display protective levels at that time, I would consider another vax at that point.


As for who to call about the mistake - Id first let the doc know that you are upset about the mistake. I see you are in Canada - is there a governing body where you can report medical errors? I know here in the uS, this type of mistake occurs as well and nobody really thinks its a big deal since "they need it anyway". Your complaints would only be valid to them (Im guessing) if your DD suffered an extreme reaction. I think reporting it would surely make YOU feel better and perhaps make them more careful with their patients in the future.



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#3 of 5 Old 04-28-2011, 02:30 PM
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I don't know who you should talk to about the error, but I would definitely report it to the office manager, her supervising doctor, and whomever else is up the chain.  The bottom line is that whether the nurse thought your daughter needed it or not, you DID NOT consent to that procedure.  If it was truly an error, then it was exceptionally negligent, as it could have been any other vaccine (for instance, what if she had "accidentally" given her Gardasil or another vaccine for much older patients), or it was was simply intentional, which is inexcusable.  You did not consent.

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#4 of 5 Old 05-01-2011, 03:53 AM
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I don't know who you should talk to about the error, but I would definitely report it to the office manager, her supervising doctor, and whomever else is up the chain




I am a nurse and I can't believe they made a med error like that then blew it off with a "she needed it anyway." ( *If* it was an honest error ) That doctors office needs to evaluate and improve their methods of drug delivery so that injecting a pediatric patient with the wrong freaking drug doesn't happen again.

Don't be afraid to ask what a nurse or doctor is giving you or your kids, they should actually be telling you what it is before you ask.


If it were me, I wouldn't give the 2nd shot in 8 weeks. There's no telling when its protection (if any) is going to wear off. She might still run into a wild chicken pox strain and catch it before she reaches the age where you had planned to give her the vax.



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Missing DD Lily 6/17/10- 12/13/12

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#5 of 5 Old 05-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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If I were you I'd call Toronto Public Health to report it. I don't know if they can do anything, but they do provide the vaccines for all the docs, so they have some control. It may prompt some sort of investigation of that office, or even just a call from Public Health to the doctor which would show the whole office what an important thing this is (and that nurse too!) Medication/immunization errors are preventable. They need procedures in place to make sure this never happens again.


The chicken pox vaccination is just a one time deal (at this point in life). Did the nurse offer you a repeat immunization in 8 weeks? Bizarre... and inappropriate. "Children aged 12 months to 12 years: a single dose given after the first birthday." May want to mention that to public health too!

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