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October 16, 2007 permalink
Parents of children with minor injuries used to take them for medical care on the principle of better safe than sorry. No longer. Now cautious parents have to stay away from doctors, except in cases of real injury. Here is the case of a mother who faces loss of her children for taking them to the emergency room.
Mom Blames Hospital ER For CPS Investigation
Tue Oct 16, 7:18 AM ET
An Indianapolis mother blames Methodist Hospital for prompting a Child Protective Services investigation after her 15-year-old daughter was hurt on the soccer field last week.
Marilyn Brown told 6News' Tanya Spencer that she thought she was get the best care for her daughter, Margrette Lowe, 15, by taking her to the emergency room after she was injured at a soccer game.
Instead, Brown said her daughter got no care, sat in pain for hours and that her case was referred to CPS for possible abuse and neglect.
Lowe has a mark on her eye from the soccer collision. Brown said the athletic trainer didn't think it was too bad, but that she decided to take the girl to Methodist's ER just in case.
Brown said she and her daughter were treated rudely from the start, and that she was told the wait would be about two hours.
Brown and Lowe said they waited for more than four hours, with no one able to tell them how much longer it would be before they could be seen.
"Margrette said, 'Mommy, I just want to go home. I'm tired. I'm cold,'" Brown said. "She was still in her soccer uniform."
"At that point, I'm saying to myself, 'She's not receiving care at all.' I know there's a limited amount of time, a window that she can get stitches done, and ... now her eye is swelling. The bleeding has stopped. It's kind of sealed itself," Brown said.
Brown said she decided to take her exhausted daughter home and see her own doctor in the morning, but she couldn't believe what happened next.
"She says, 'If you take her out of here, I'm calling Child Protective Services on you," Brown said. "I'm getting ready to just absolutely break down in tears. I'm being accused of abusing my child."
Hospital officials told 6News that the ER was very busy the night Brown and Lowe were there, and that the more serious cases always move ahead of less serious ones.
Hospital officials also said that anyone who suspects abuse is required by law to report it.
"Now, I have to defend my actions, defend my lifestyle," Brown said.
A week after the incident, Brown's case is still open and a caseworker wants a home visit. Brown said the whole ordeal is embarrassing and humiliating.
Brown said she thinks hospitals need to give patients realistic wait times so they can consider other treatment options before wasting a lot of time.
A hospital representative told 6News proper protocol was followed in Brown's case.
Source: Yahoo news, citing WRTV TheIndyChannel.com.