Sunday, October 16, 2011

Am I Jinxed?

Can you stand to read another medical issue post? I really need to know if most of the people in the medical field are inept, or if I'm just jinxed. I can see how billions of dollars per year are wasted due to idiotic mistakes. Take today's example:

Jie Jie needed to give more samples to see if the Giardia and her UTI are gone. After church, we drove to the hospital and went to the lab. We were the only ones there, so it wasn't busy at all. The man in charge of giving out the specimen containers handed me two, plus a paper cup and some large popsicle sticks, which he touched with his bare hands. I pointed out to him that he just contaminated the sample by touching the sticks. He gave me news ones. Then I asked if he'd given me the right containers for the fecal sample. He said yes, then decided to double-check. Sure enough, he'd given me the wrong one.

I'm not an expert by any means, but the first time we did this, there were two containers, narrow jars filled with fluid that one added the poop to and then mixed by shaking. The instructions were very specific. It made sense to me that since we were testing for same thing that the containers should be the same.

What if I wasn't a person who put two and two together? At the very least, we'd have had to return to the lab to provide another sample in the correct container. At the most, the lab would have run the test, perhaps even the wrong test, and then we'd have had a false result, or, along the way it would have been caught and we'd have to return, but time and money would also have been wasted in the lab.

Should this many mistakes continually be made? Is this the new normal and I'm just not with the program? Do you experience this level of incompetence, too, with your child's medical care? Am I doing something wrong to be a target of this continuing incompetence? Is it like this everywhere or is this Kaiser-specific?


Karen said...

When we tested for our daughter, it was a very simple procedure. It really doesn't matter if the sample is contaminated unless the person handing you the sticks also have giardia, which is most likely not the case. They're looking for a bug in her stool, so germs won't matter. I remember, with our daughter, she was still in diapers, so we just had to get some off the diaper, put it into a cup (dont recall having to use a liquid to shake it with) and take it in ASAP. Also, giardia clears itself out after the eggs are hatched, even if you don't clear it with meds. However, it can continue to be passed from child to parent and back and forth. We were all treated for it as soon as we got home and tested our daughter as positive for it. The meds help it pass faster by killing the bugs, but by now it should have passed even without the meds, after this long of being on good water.

Karen said...

I take that back. Now that I think about it, there was a cup with liquid that we had to put the stool sample into. It was so long ago. But touching the sticks won't matter. And I would be highly surprised if she still has giardia at this point in time, but it's worth testing, just to be on the safe side, I suppose.