Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Problem with Health Care

I am so angry right now and it all stems from the care/treatment our son has received over the past two years in regards to his respiratory complications. In February of 2008 when he was 8 months old he was hospitalized for four days with RSV, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia all "confirmed" through chest x-rays. In the two years since he has had what we were told were repeated bouts of pneumonia, some of them confirmed through x-rays and others diagnosed through a physical exam based on his history. Every time he gets sick he struggles to breathe, ends up in the hospital, is put on antibiotics, oxygen, albuterol, etc.

Yesterday, we went to see a pulmonary specialist who spent a lot of time examining him, going over his history, etc. I spent a lot of time signing release forms to have all of his records and x-rays released for this doctor to review. When I left the office yesterday she felt he had some allergies, which the Singulair he was placed on three weeks ago seemed to be helping, so she kept him on that. She also said that she felt he had asthma. For the past two years we have been told his asthma was simply illness-induced so he has never been treated with any type of preventative asthma medication, only rescue medication once his breathing got bad enough. She put him on two inhalers, one a preventative asthma medication and another just albuterol, which he has already been on. So, we left willing to try that, knowing we'd go back for a followup in a month and she'd reassess, do a chest x-ray and proceed from there.

Well, today I get a call from the doctor who leaves a message that she received all of his records from the hospitals and urgent cares and that the xrays were clear for pneumonia but they did show definite evidence of asthma, thickening of the bronchial tubes, the most recent xray (from just a few months ago) showed one bronchial tube completely clogged and one of his lungs was deflated. This is the FIRST time we have heard any of this. How the hospital doctors missed this is beyond me.

What burns me up is that for TWO YEARS he has been treated for pneumonia when he has never had pneumonia when he should have been treated for asthma and maybe we wouldn't have spent so much time in and out of the hospital for the past two years. My other concern is whether he still has a deflated lung????? Is that the type of thing that will just re-inflate on its own or is it something we are now going to have to deal with? I didn't get the message until after the office had closed so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the full scoop, but truly how something like this can go on for two years is beyond me and the fact that my poor kid has been suffering, repeatedly misdiagnosed, and inappropriately treated makes me livid.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Wow, what a dilemma. My husband had a collapsed lung years and years ago, deflated for no apparent reason. The doctors attributed it to something called blebs on the lung, sacs of some sort, that had burst. When the lung was deflated, it was extremely painful. He thought he was having a heart attack. His episode actually required surgery. So I'm hoping that if your son is not in pain, it means his lung is operating correctly. Best wishes!