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An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 09, 2019 09:09PM
[www.washingtonpost.com]

"For more than 30 years in Oregon, cases of tetanus in children were almost mythical — studied in textbooks but never seen in person — thanks to the effectiveness of pediatric vaccination programs.

That streak ended in 2017 when an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy arrived at a hospital in the state, experiencing jaw spasms and struggling to breathe, according to a new case study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The child was playing on a farm when he cut his head on something, the report said. His parents cleaned and stitched the wound at home, but alarming symptoms emerged six days later. The boy’s jaw began clenching, and his neck and back were arched — a trademark indication of tetanus called opisthotonus that is caused by involuntary muscle spasms.

He was airlifted to a pediatric hospital, where he was diagnosed with tetanus. It was the first instance of the life-threatening neuromuscular disease in a child in Oregon in more than three decades.

“Fortunately, the emergency department physicians immediately recognized the symptoms of severe tetanus,” Judith Guzman-Cottrill, an author of the report and a pediatrics professor at Oregon Health & Science University, told The Washington Post in an email. “Physicians have all read about tetanus, and we have seen pictures of people suffering from tetanus. ... It is profound.”

It would be only the start of a downward spiral and lengthy hospital stay for the boy. When he was first admitted to the hospital, he was alert — but couldn’t open his mouth, the report said. Physicians sedated and intubated him because the spasms of his diaphragm and larynx were causing breathing problems.

The boy was given an anti-tetanus immunoglobulin for his wound, as well as the DTaP vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. He was also placed in a dark room with ear plugs, which helped reduce the intensity of his spasms. His scalp wound was cleaned by medical professionals.

Still, the arching of the boy’s neck and back worsened. His blood pressure shot up, and he became feverish. Doctors inserted a tube in his windpipe so a ventilator could help with his breathing, and treated him with neuromuscular-blocking drugs to reduce his muscle spasms. He would remain on those drugs for more than a month, and in the intensive care unit for a total of 47 days.

By the time he was transferred out of the ICU, the boy needed help walking 20 feet. His tracheal tube was removed on Day 54, the report said. On Day 57, he was transferred from the pediatric hospital to a rehabilitation center, where he spent two-and-a-half weeks.

In all, the boy’s medical charges in the hospital amounted to $811,929 — which did not include the cost of being airlifted to the hospital or of inpatient rehabilitation, according to the CDC. It’s unclear from the report who covered his hospital expenses. It took about a month after his rehab for the boy to return to “normal activities” such as running and bicycling, the report added.

“The patient was in the intensive care unit, in critical condition, for over six weeks,” Guzman-Cottrill said. “The complex and prolonged care led to the high treatment cost. In contrast, the cost of one DTaP dose is somewhere around $24-$30 a dose, and this illness could have been prevented with five doses of DTaP vaccine.”

Notably, physicians counseled the boy’s family to bring the child up to date on all of his vaccinations, as well as receive a follow-up dose of the DTaP vaccine.

His family said no.

“Despite extensive review of the risks and benefits of tetanus vaccination by physicians, the family declined the second dose of DTaP and any other recommended immunizations,” the CDC report stated."




Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 10:06PM by Speedy.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: bfd
Date: March 09, 2019 09:31PM
Child Protective Services should intervene in cases like this. There are laws against child abuse. Certainly this anti-vaxxing nonsense must qualify as such.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 09, 2019 09:41PM
Note to self: get a tetanus booster.

There's no herd immunity with this one because of the way the bacteria lives in soil everywhere. Have to get the shot.

OHSU is a great hospital, glad he got the treatment he needed. There's no excuse for those parents.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 09, 2019 09:45PM
Quote
bfd
Child Protective Services should intervene in cases like this. There are laws against child abuse. Certainly this anti-vaxxing nonsense must qualify as such.

Parents are legally permitted to exempt their children from vaccine. That is not considered child abuse. As far as I know no parent has ever been prosecuted for the illness or death of an non-vaccinated child.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: graylocks
Date: March 09, 2019 10:07PM
it was know as “lock jaw” back in the day.

wonder how much of that bill the family was held liable before. a good jolt to the wallet would certainly erase any doubts i had about that second shot.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: March 09, 2019 10:41PM
"it was know as “lock jaw” back in the day."

And stepping on a rusty nail was the way you usually got it.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: bfd
Date: March 09, 2019 11:08PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
bfd
Child Protective Services should intervene in cases like this. There are laws against child abuse. Certainly this anti-vaxxing nonsense must qualify as such.

Parents are legally permitted to exempt their children from vaccine. That is not considered child abuse. As far as I know no parent has ever been prosecuted for the illness or death of an non-vaccinated child.

And when that child infects another child, there's a problem. Isn't there.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: March 09, 2019 11:20PM
Jesus never was inoculated.
That proves it.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: March 10, 2019 04:36AM
The parents should have been inoculated against procreation.

As for who will pay, if the parents did not carry medical insurance (and something tells me they didn't), then the taxpayers of Oregon will foot the bill, along with other patients in the form of higher costs. I've come to the decision that going uninsured and not paying medical bills is no different than shoplifting or other forms of stealing.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: sekker
Date: March 10, 2019 06:24AM
Sometimes science is just reality. Earth is round, vaccines save lives.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: March 10, 2019 09:26AM
....Inhumans dog is known as Lockjaw too.......



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 10, 2019 10:42AM
Quote
bfd
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
bfd
Child Protective Services should intervene in cases like this. There are laws against child abuse. Certainly this anti-vaxxing nonsense must qualify as such.

Parents are legally permitted to exempt their children from vaccine. That is not considered child abuse. As far as I know no parent has ever been prosecuted for the illness or death of an non-vaccinated child.

And when that child infects another child, there's a problem. Isn't there.

From a legal standpoint I'm not sure how much can be done, within our Constitution. The US population overall has been very compliant with medical advice to get immunized.

We just have these small numbers of communities where the anti-vaxx movement is very strong. These thrive mostly in states that let parents opt-out of vaccine for "philosophical reasons." So tightening up state laws will probably help, along with continuing public health awareness campaigns.

I have a feeling that this current group of teens will be much less likely to be anti-vaxxers when they become parents.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 10, 2019 11:18AM
So he’s also going to be homeschooled I’m guessing? That’s fine but here in TN if you wish to take advantage of public school you must prove vaccinations are current. GA same way. Seems more than fair.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 10, 2019 11:37AM
[www.ncsl.org]

All 50 states have immunization laws related to school attendance. All 50 allow medical exemptions.

All but California, West Virginia and Mississippi allow religious exemptions.

An additional 17 states also allow personal exemptions (meaning the parent can just opt-out with no explanation.)

[www.ncsl.org]
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Acer
Date: March 10, 2019 11:51AM
Quote
Ombligo
The parents should have been inoculated against procreation.

As for who will pay, if the parents did not carry medical insurance (and something tells me they didn't), then the taxpayers of Oregon will foot the bill, along with other patients in the form of higher costs. I've come to the decision that going uninsured and not paying medical bills is no different than shoplifting or other forms of stealing.

The parents will be hounded by collection agencies for the rest of their lives, so there is that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2019 11:51AM by Acer.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Ted King
Date: March 10, 2019 01:06PM
Quote
Lemon Drop

From a legal standpoint I'm not sure how much can be done, within our Constitution.

[constitutioncenter.org]

Quote

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the states to enforce mandatory vaccination laws under the police power of the states. In the opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan explained that personal liberties might be suspended in cases where the interest of the “common good” of the community are of paramount importance.

The Court in Jacobson did, however, recognize that for some individuals a vaccine requirement could be harmful, creating room for medical exemptions where vaccines would be unduly harmful to the individual.

In a 1922, the Court further clarified in Zucht v. King that a school system could refuse admission to a student who did not meet vaccination requirements, and that this would not be in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for singling out a particular class of individuals.

Then in 1944, in Prince v. Massachusetts, the Court held that states may require vaccination regardless of a parent’s religious objection, stating that, “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” This case made it clear that religious exemptions offered by states are elective, rather than mandated by the First Amendment’s right to free exercise of religion.

While the Supreme Court authorized the states to pass these laws mandating vaccinations, it was in no way required for the states to do so. Federal authority on vaccines only applies to situations of national concern, such as the quarantine of foreign disease and regulation between states.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Ammo
Date: March 10, 2019 01:15PM
Sometimes the internet just s*&#ks (referring to where these righteous geniuses get their ideas).



“Eenie meenie chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak.“ Bullwinkle

“Pessimism is a luxury of good times. In difficult times, it is a self-fulfilling, self-inflicted death sentence.” – Evelin Lindner (German psychologist, physician)

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” George Orwell
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 10, 2019 01:15PM
Quote
Ted King
Quote
Lemon Drop

From a legal standpoint I'm not sure how much can be done, within our Constitution.

[constitutioncenter.org]

Quote

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the states to enforce mandatory vaccination laws under the police power of the states. In the opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan explained that personal liberties might be suspended in cases where the interest of the “common good” of the community are of paramount importance.

The Court in Jacobson did, however, recognize that for some individuals a vaccine requirement could be harmful, creating room for medical exemptions where vaccines would be unduly harmful to the individual.

In a 1922, the Court further clarified in Zucht v. King that a school system could refuse admission to a student who did not meet vaccination requirements, and that this would not be in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for singling out a particular class of individuals.

Then in 1944, in Prince v. Massachusetts, the Court held that states may require vaccination regardless of a parent’s religious objection, stating that, “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” This case made it clear that religious exemptions offered by states are elective, rather than mandated by the First Amendment’s right to free exercise of religion.

While the Supreme Court authorized the states to pass these laws mandating vaccinations, it was in no way required for the states to do so. Federal authority on vaccines only applies to situations of national concern, such as the quarantine of foreign disease and regulation between states.

The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine.

I don't think there are any cases about that, I'm not aware of any attempts to prosecute a parent in that situation or to make that a law anywhere. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Ted King
Date: March 10, 2019 01:20PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
Ted King
Quote
Lemon Drop

From a legal standpoint I'm not sure how much can be done, within our Constitution.

[constitutioncenter.org]

Quote

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the states to enforce mandatory vaccination laws under the police power of the states. In the opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan explained that personal liberties might be suspended in cases where the interest of the “common good” of the community are of paramount importance.

The Court in Jacobson did, however, recognize that for some individuals a vaccine requirement could be harmful, creating room for medical exemptions where vaccines would be unduly harmful to the individual.

In a 1922, the Court further clarified in Zucht v. King that a school system could refuse admission to a student who did not meet vaccination requirements, and that this would not be in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for singling out a particular class of individuals.

Then in 1944, in Prince v. Massachusetts, the Court held that states may require vaccination regardless of a parent’s religious objection, stating that, “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” This case made it clear that religious exemptions offered by states are elective, rather than mandated by the First Amendment’s right to free exercise of religion.

While the Supreme Court authorized the states to pass these laws mandating vaccinations, it was in no way required for the states to do so. Federal authority on vaccines only applies to situations of national concern, such as the quarantine of foreign disease and regulation between states.

The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine.

I don't think there are any cases about that, I'm not aware of any attempts to prosecute a parent in that situation or to make that a law anywhere. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.

Oops, sorry.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 10, 2019 01:48PM
Quote
Ted King
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
Ted King
Quote
Lemon Drop

From a legal standpoint I'm not sure how much can be done, within our Constitution.

[constitutioncenter.org]

Quote

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the states to enforce mandatory vaccination laws under the police power of the states. In the opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan explained that personal liberties might be suspended in cases where the interest of the “common good” of the community are of paramount importance.

The Court in Jacobson did, however, recognize that for some individuals a vaccine requirement could be harmful, creating room for medical exemptions where vaccines would be unduly harmful to the individual.

In a 1922, the Court further clarified in Zucht v. King that a school system could refuse admission to a student who did not meet vaccination requirements, and that this would not be in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause for singling out a particular class of individuals.

Then in 1944, in Prince v. Massachusetts, the Court held that states may require vaccination regardless of a parent’s religious objection, stating that, “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.” This case made it clear that religious exemptions offered by states are elective, rather than mandated by the First Amendment’s right to free exercise of religion.

While the Supreme Court authorized the states to pass these laws mandating vaccinations, it was in no way required for the states to do so. Federal authority on vaccines only applies to situations of national concern, such as the quarantine of foreign disease and regulation between states.

The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine.

I don't think there are any cases about that, I'm not aware of any attempts to prosecute a parent in that situation or to make that a law anywhere. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.

Oops, sorry.

Oh, no apology needed, thank you for linking the history on this stuff, I find that interesting. I actually think it's one the most interesting societal debates taking place at the moment. Big intersection of healthcare/public policy/individual rights v. responsibility.

And there have always been "vaccine resistant" folks going back to the 18th century with Edward Jenner and his smallpox vaccine. It's not a new social media thing.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 10, 2019 04:11PM
The family should be footing 100% of the bill. I wouldn’t be surprised if their insurance company, if they have it, denies the claim.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Throwback Thursday Signature:
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Janit
Date: March 10, 2019 09:57PM
It is worth remembering that these kind of news stories will quote the full amount initially "billed" for all the medical care. If there is medical insurance in play, the actual amount paid out will be significantly less than the bill because providers who participate in the insurance plans have already agreed to accept negotiated rates that are dramatically lower than the amounts billed.

On the other hand, if the family has no insurance, they will be on the hook for the total inflated amount.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 10, 2019 10:20PM
I've also wondered why the CDC and OHSU chose now to go public with this, the child's illness was in summer 2017. Or why they would share so much detail about the physical pain of his ordeal, or release the cost of the care. Or why they went public at all.

I suspect it's to influence the policy debates underway in the NW and other places, surrounding vaccine exemptions. Washington's proposed bill would eliminate the philosophical exemption, and Oregon's would eliminate all exemptions except medical.
The current measles outbreak in Clark County, WA (a suburb of Portland) has 70 cases.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: March 11, 2019 07:58AM
Quote
Lemon Drop
The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine. .. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.

What "civil liberty" do you think a law protecting children violates? States have very broad police powers.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: March 11, 2019 10:19AM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
Lemon Drop
The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine. .. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.

What "civil liberty" do you think a law protecting children violates? States have very broad police powers.

As I understand it, the legal landscape on these questions isn't uniform. I think it has mostly to do with how the state defines its interest in the child, and how that is balanced with religious views. The case would be easier to make in the case of communicable diseases, because the state does have an interest in public health (and can violate people's civil liberties in protecting that interest).



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: March 11, 2019 04:38PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
Lemon Drop
The specific question was about charging parents with abuse or neglect if their child gets sick or dies from an illness that could have been prevented with vaccine. .. I think it would be considered a violation of civil liberties.

What "civil liberty" do you think a law protecting children violates? States have very broad police powers.

Religious liberty. All but 3 states allow parents to withhold both preventative care and in some cases treatment for existing conditions due to religious beliefs. That would include vaccines. I've never heard of a parent being charged with medical neglect for not getting a child vaccinated.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: Ted King
Date: March 11, 2019 06:05PM
never mind



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2019 06:12PM by Ted King.
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Re: An unvaccinated child contracted tetanus. It took two months and more than $800K to save him.
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 12, 2019 11:16AM
Quote
Steve G.
Jesus never was inoculated.
That proves it.

And didn’t he die as a result of a rusty nail or two?
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