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Co-op health disclosures  

210 members have voted

  1. 1. Should a homeschool co-op disclose the attendance of a student with HIV, without naming the student?

    • Yes
      42
    • No
      160
    • Other
      8


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I think if I knew that I would remind parents/children of how to care for any accidents involving blood.

 

I know the coop that we go to it is a smaller closer knit community, so by nature we would know that kind of info. Does everyone involved in helping know the universal care if there is blood? That would be my concern. While we should do that, I know I never did that kind of care for my child. If people were more familiar would they jump in to help without using precautions?

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Absolutely NOT. Casual contact is not a risk factor for transmitting HIV. All announcing it widely does is to serve to generate gossip about who and how. In a small group, eventually it will come out if announced and on people's minds. A child's privacy should not be compromised unless relevant to keeping them and others safe. In a coop setting, there is actually far more risk to the HIV positive student than to the non-HIV students because of the immune issues that come with HIV. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs an education in how HIV is transmitted. Casual contact is not one of those ways. Unless they are in some sort of a kid Fight Club :laugh: , they are extremely unlikely to ever have blood to wound contact (which is still a very low, in fact almost zero, risk of catching the virus from an HIV positive kid with the sort of low viral loads generally seen in children with access to first world healthcare.) Should that rare event happen, you can cross that bridge.

 

In some jurisdictions, including mine, a school program or any group offered for a fee/as a public accommodation would be in violation of the law for disclosing HIV status.

 

I would actually not choose to be a part of a group that felt this should be disclosed by anyone other than the family choosing to tell friends. I would feel uncomfortable, not with the HIV positive kid but with a program making such a disclosure.

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NO! People are often misinformed about HIV and I can easily see a panic situation happen and the kid gets outted. If you were playing a high risk contact sport or something ok I can see the need but in a classroom setting? No. Teach basic universal precautions and enforce it.

 

I still haven't forgotten about what happened to Ryan White when he was outed as being positive, it's been years and people panic just the same despite all the knowledge out there.

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We have been involved in lots of different types of homeschool groups, and I have seen *several* incidents where kids were injured and blood was involved. I think something should be said to the *parents* more along the lines of, "we have a child with a blood-borne disease. Please use the following protocols in case if any injuries..."

 

I voted other.

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This is a pretty tricky ethical consideration because you have to balance a person's right to privacy against other people's right to safety in the unlikely event that there is an accident that could result in transmission of the disease. I think that rather than saying that someone has a blood-borne disease (which in a small group might lead people to still engage in speculation of what disease and who has it), I'd say that you are adopting basic safe hygiene practices in any event where there is blood present. I would provide gloves in the first-aide kit and require anyone giving first aide to wear them.

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When I worked as a camp counselor, the staff was notified when there was a girl in our unit with hepB. We were not told who, but we were told to be very careful when it came to body fluids and to give the campers a reminder about not touching blood, sharing towels or toothbrushes, etc. We, as the counselors, did not tell the children there was a child with hepB, we just put out the reminder and we ourselves were super careful with all the girls.

 

I think telling the staff or parents that there is and to review body fluid protocols with their children would be appropriate.

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Maybe start the year with a strong revision of safety protocols.

Fire drills, terrorism drills and add blood/body fluids safety to that.

Then be vigialnt at keeping all practices up to date.

 

Hep B etc s much more readily transmtted and the most contagious persons of any condition are those that are undiagnosed, not those that are aware of their staus who tend to be more careful.

We should be treating everyone, including ourselves as possible 'carriers', so a general teaching/revision session each term could include and reinforce this to everyone and need not drop poor child under anyone's glare.

 

Maybe check out the zombie attack stuff. That could put both fliud safety and fire/terrorism plans into a fun and educational light.

You could then remind people of the need for gloves for dealing with blood etc for that reason.

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That is a dilemma, as Jean has well noted. What protocols are followed in public schools? (Sincere question - I have no idea.)

 

We have also been part of co-ops, field trip clubs and home school PE classes where kids have bled, thrown up, sweat - shed bodily fluids in a variety of ways. Any of these secretions could be contaminated with something. Where do you draw the line?

 

If the flu, strep, rotovirus, mono or chickenpox is going around, administration notifies all parents. I understand that HIV status isn't quite the same as these, but again, where do you draw the line?

 

Once I led a group of kindergarten kids in VBS. A girl told me one day that she wasn't feeling well. There were about 45 minutes left in the morning and when I asked her questions to try to determine a course of action, all I could conclude was that she was feeling tired (ie, no fever, stomach ache, etc). I encouraged her to stick it out, which she did. At pickup time I talked with her mother, and learned that the child had leukemia, and that I should have notified mom at the first sign of illness. No one had told me anything about it! So, I think that as a teacher, I would feel blindsided if I learned after the fact (of, say, a bloody nose or other such incident) that a kid in my class was HIV positive.

 

As a parent, if my child were going to be involved in a high contact activity (such as football, wrestling, martial arts or basketball), I would want to know if an HIV positive teammate/sparring partner would be involved. Doesn't mean I have to know which kid, I'd just want to make an informed decision about our own participation.

 

Yet I can see it from the affected child's perspective as well. S/he certainly has a right to privacy and to not be made a pariah. What a tough place to be.

 

I am interested in what others have to say. I wonder, though, if the family of the HIV student is willing to discuss this openly. Maybe have a meeting wherein the real facts of the condition can be brought to light to eliminate fearmongering. Establish an educated population, kwim? Of course, this would only work if the family is willing and desirable of it.

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I think it needs to be known, contact sport or not. Kids get cuts or skinned knees all the time. It would be horrible for one of the volunteers or other kids to try to help out and to end up with it.

 

We have given up lots of freedoms and rights to privacy in this country in the name of safety. This is 1 place where I believe it is actually necessary.

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My inclination is to say no, it's a medical privacy statement and the family might feel violated. I suppose you could ask their opinion, definitely telling them you would never identify their child. As I think more about this, I have to wonder how many families would pull out for fear of contagion. It's misunderstood, yes, but you can't be personally responsible for how parents choose to handle this for their own families. It's a tough decision.

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what about other diseases? do they require public disclosure? what about hepatitis? it is more contagious. Here for contact sports every blood situation is to be handled as if there is the potential of a contagious disease. It is called the blood rule. Any blood at all and the game is halted until it is cleaned up and the player is fixed or off. Schools have a similar policy

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No but this is a good reason for strict health and safety policies and procedures, so you can point to them and say that you're already prepared and have no need to infringe on someone's privacy.

 

There's also the chance you might have someone with a communicable disease that does not reveal it (something more likely to happen if they know the information will be shared - another reason to protect privacy).

 

 

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sigh. This is what universal precautions are for. ANY child with a cut/bleeding/etc should be treated as if they have a blood borne illness. This kind of care should be ROUTINE. And it sounds like an excellent time to review that with everyone. If EVERYONE is treated as if they might have HIV/HEPB/etc than there is no need to do anything special when someone does actually have it. Kids and adults should be taught this, and the appropriate supplies made available.

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I think it needs to be known, contact sport or not. Kids get cuts or skinned knees all the time. It would be horrible for one of the volunteers or other kids to try to help out and to end up with it.

 

We have given up lots of freedoms and rights to privacy in this country in the name of safety. This is 1 place where I believe it is actually necessary.

 

You can't get HIV from putting a band-aid on a kid's scraped knee. Seriously, you can't. Not unless you have a gaping open wound on your hand while you're doing it.

 

When health-care workers are accidentally jabbed with a used needle from an HIV+ patient, the risk that the health-care worker will develop HIV is 0.3%. That's for contact that breaks the skin. HIV is hard to catch.

 

Emphasize universal precautions for first aid, and keep gloves in the first aid kit. Period.

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I think it needs to be known, contact sport or not. Kids get cuts or skinned knees all the time. It would be horrible for one of the volunteers or other kids to try to help out and to end up with it.

 

We have given up lots of freedoms and rights to privacy in this country in the name of safety. This is 1 place where I believe it is actually necessary.

 

Yes, but if iirc HIV is one of the most unstable viruses when it is exposed to air. Unless there's someone around with vampiric tendencies, the risk from a skinned knee is nearly non-existent.

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I'm not sure if I would tell everyone about the HIV issue, but I would make sure that everyone knew about how to deal with blood. The problem is that most people aren't going to take universal precautions seriously. Really, they're probably not going to think about it.

 

Case in point--at a public school event (with a parent partnership program), they had a craft table set up where kids used needles to string corn. They kept accidentally stabbing themselves with the needles. The parent monitoring the table just put the needles that had done the stabbing back into circulation for use by other kids without any sort of cleaning.

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All groups should use universal precautions when dealing with blood. Disclosing that a student has the illness in a small setting will get people to guessing even if you don't use names. Just emphasize universal precautions and make sure you have things like vinyl gloves, etc. available. We do this at our church. There is no requirement for either a child or volunteer to tell us about HIV status. We just use universal precautions for everyone.

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This is a pretty tricky ethical consideration because you have to balance a person's right to privacy against other people's right to safety in the unlikely event that there is an accident that could result in transmission of the disease. I think that rather than saying that someone has a blood-borne disease (which in a small group might lead people to still engage in speculation of what disease and who has it), I'd say that you are adopting basic safe hygiene practices in any event where there is blood present. I would provide gloves in the first-aide kit and require anyone giving first aide to wear them.

 

 

Check with your county health department. Even at the local, small private school, they follow the protocols that the PS's follow. The PS's do not discriminate against students with HIV playing in sports, but they do observe a protocol for the clean up of ALL blood and body fluids, as well as if absolutely necessary, a disclosure to the parent of a student who may have been exposed such as two basketball players getting tangled up in a fall, one gets a bloody nose instantly and bleeds on the other child...still a statistically EXTREMELY UNLIKELY way to contract HIV or other blood born illness.

 

Frankly, when it comes to health issues, you've got bigger fish to fry such as mono and meningitis which are far, far, far more communicable than HIV.

 

Just institute the proper protocols and enforce them. Then you won't need to violate anyone's privacy.

 

Faith

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I have a good friend whose son is HIV+. It has never worried me to have him around my children. His siblings are not at risk. He is a wonderful little boy who was dealt a tough hand and I spend more time worrying about what the medications he must take will do to his body than whether he's a risk to other children.

 

The last thing he needs is for people to fear him. In his case, people would be likely to guess that he is "the one" even if names weren't given. I wouldn't want people guessing or thinking they knew in any situation. I would not be at all bothered to learn my children had been associating with a child who is HIV+ without my knowledge.

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HIV is not a communicable disease.

 

Until the end of 2009, an individual with HIV infection could not enter the USA. Based on a current appreciation of the epidemiology and transmission of HIV within the US, on November 2, 2009 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a final rule that removed HIV infection from the list of diseases that can keep people who are not US citizens from entering the United States. This final rule stated that, “While HIV infection is a serious health condition, it is not a communicable disease that is a significant public health risk for introduction, transmission, and spread to the US population through casual contact.â€1 The final rule has been effective as of January 4, 2010.

 

Do not disclose this information. Somehow the person will be figured out.

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No, it should not be disclosed. Proper protocol for handling blood is a good idea, not just because of this disease, but also because odds of getting some other blood borne illness from someone who has not disclosed their illness is much higher. To avoid HIV, group members should refrain from sharing needles and having unprotected sex.

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No. Maximum, I would inform the individual(s) teaching the child's classes, but I'm not even sure about that. Everyone should always take sensible precautions around blood. You don't know who else might have HIV etc. Do you have a first aid class or the like in connection with the co-op? If so, include the blood protocol in that.

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I think it needs to be discussed with all moms how to handle bodily fluids. A person could have HIV, hepatitis, herpes, and so on. Whether or not there should be a disclosure line on the form, I have no idea, but no one should touch bodily fluids without gloves, and kids should be taught to NEVER EVER touch a hurt friend who is sick or bleeding. Their job is to get an adult, and adults should have gloves with them in a group setting like that. Schools follow those policies as do daycares and after school programs. I find summer camps do not, and it does bother me, but my kids know what their job is in a situation that involves fluids, and that is all I can do.

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Yes. As a co-op teacher I need to know if one of my students has HIV so I can tend to accidents correctly. I would need to make sure that I had gloves and disinfectant spray in the classroom. As a parent, I would want to tell my children that if the HIV positive child is bleeding (as in a playground accident), do NOT touch the wound to try and stop the bleeding but to get me immediately.

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One problem I have with some church and homeschool settings is that everybody treats each other "like family" to the point that good safety practices are not observed.

 

Background checks for people who work with children

Two-deep adult leadership at all times

Universal precautions in the event of an accident

 

that kind of stuff.

 

If we were sensible about these things we wouldn't have to tell everybody's business because our own actions protect us more than gossip would.

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Yes. As a co-op teacher I need to know if one of my students has HIV so I can tend to accidents correctly. I would need to make sure that I had gloves and disinfectant spray in the classroom. As a parent, I would want to tell my children that if the HIV positive child is bleeding (as in a playground accident), do NOT touch the wound to try and stop the bleeding but to get me immediately.

 

 

Shouldn't you use gloves all the time to deal with blood and bodily fluids? Shouldn't you always properly disinfect surfaces that are contaminated? Shouldn't the children always get your help if someone is bleeding?

 

I'm trying to think what it would be like for this child to be Untouchable if all the others are Touchable when they bleed. :/ If you had rules in place for bleeding no matter who it was, he wouldn't be singled out.

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Yes. As a co-op teacher I need to know if one of my students has HIV so I can tend to accidents correctly.

 

But, why wouldn't you do this anyway? Knowing someone in your class has HIV shouldn't change how you handle these kinds of things. Bodily fluids should always be handled properly.

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Of course there should not be disclosure. And if some people are too ignroant to understand that, why would you want to foster that ignorance in a homeschool co-op???

 

I am a GS and a BS leader. It's a heck of a lot more likely that I'm going to be dealing with blood this year because I've got 40ish kids dealing with their first pocketknives than a co-op situation. You protect yourself from everything!!! That's your job as the adult. It's your job to contain the blood and frankly, HIV isn't the scariest thing out there in human blood anymore. If it were 1983, maybe.

 

You glove up for every single encounter with every single kid. And you clean up the dang mess in a medically safe manner. Every single time. You treat EVERYONE as if they had hepatitis and HIV and MRSA and you'll keep everyone safe.

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I find the very idea of violating a child's privacy this way repugnant. Any basic first aid course will outline safe handling of accidents involving bodily fluids - all bodily fluids, not just those of HIV+ people. Any sensible coop or classroom needs to have policies in place for this. There is no need to create an atmosphere of fear, drive gossip, or create a scenario in which a child is made to feel like a leper. HIV is not nearly as contagious as many, many other diseases. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to do some research.

 

I have personally cared for many people who were very, very ill with HIV related issues, and have not contracted HIV. And, before someone says, "but you knew they had HIV," let me also say that I have spent a large portion of my life with people who had HIV *before* we knew they did. Yes, we even shared drinks. [Gasp!] No, I don't have HIV. Yes, I have been tested multiple times. So, no, I don't think the studies that say it is not communicable via casual contact are wrong. They're not. HIV is not easy to "catch."

 

My child is not HIV+, but he does have other health issues. If I found that a coop teacher or other person in that capacity made a general announcement regarding his issues, I would question their motives, and I would not be likely to stay in that group. My child's issues are his (or mine) to share, and I will not have him made the poster child for ___ issue. Beyond that, there are privacy laws, and while they may or may not apply in a coop situation - I would be cautious about broadcasting any child's issues without a clear discussion with and permission from the parents. Even if the announcement were only to include that an unnamed child in the group is HIV+.

 

If anything, remind everyone of the policies regarding safe first aid.

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I would want to know, especially for younger kids. Some of my kids have severe eczema to the point that their skin is basically open, like with severe burns. I would just take precautions like making sure the open skin was covered. For older kids who can be aware of bodily fluid issues, it wouldn't be such a concern.

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Yes. As a co-op teacher I need to know if one of my students has HIV so I can tend to accidents correctly. I would need to make sure that I had gloves and disinfectant spray in the classroom. As a parent, I would want to tell my children that if the HIV positive child is bleeding (as in a playground accident), do NOT touch the wound to try and stop the bleeding but to get me immediately.

 

 

 

Um....wouldn't you need to do this for any child that is bleeding? Unless you have a full health history on the child, you should always do this. Not to mention, if you tend my child's wound I want you wearing gloves to protect my child...he's more likely to catch something from you (MRSA) than you from him, if he has an open wound.

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I would want to know, especially for younger kids. Some of my kids have severe eczema to the point that their skin is basically open, like with severe burns. I would just take precautions like making sure the open skin was covered. For older kids who can be aware of bodily fluid issues, it wouldn't be such a concern.

 

 

If they are running around with open wounds, basically, they should be covered anyway...MRSA is MUCH more likely than HIV. Not to mention Hepatitis, which is much more common.

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There should be what should be normal reminders about universal precautions as part of orientation or training or whatever. That should happen even if you didn't know about the HIV positive status. Past that, absolutely not. Not only is it not necessary, it isn't a good idea. As for "but there could be accidents?" Yes, there could be. There also could be at the playground, grocery store, place of worship, sports team, etc. You do not know the HIV status of any of the people in any of those places either. It is none of anyone's business.

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I would want to know, especially for younger kids. Some of my kids have severe eczema to the point that their skin is basically open, like with severe burns. I would just take precautions like making sure the open skin was covered. For older kids who can be aware of bodily fluid issues, it wouldn't be such a concern.

 

 

You should be far more concerned about MSRA. Your child, even in a group setting with a HIV positive person present, is far more likely to catch MRSA. HIV is an extremely difficult disease to catch. What if a child has hepatitis, which is far more prevalent in the population? Do you need to know that information as well? Treat all blood and fluids with basic health protocols and no child needs to be singled out.

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As a co-op director, I would advise you to research the legality of disclosure before you do anything. Do the parents stick around for your co-op? How old is the child? Personally, my gut is that a reminder of proper protocol is all you should do. The furthest I would go would be to tell the relevant teachers that there is a child with a blood born illness. I would absolutely not disclose which child or what illness.

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If they are running around with open wounds, basically, they should be covered anyway...MRSA is MUCH more likely than HIV. Not to mention Hepatitis, which is much more common.

 

Yes they are "running around" with open wounds, and yes they have gotten severe staph infections and three of them have been hospitalized for them. I don't know if you saw the pictures I posted in the thread about my daughter but it is very, very severe.

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I think it's important to know when someone is immune compromised. I know I would be more likely to keep my child home if they had a cold or whatever if I knew there was an immune compromised person there.

 

It's good manners to keep your kids home when they're sick either way.

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Yes they are "running around" with open wounds, and yes they have gotten severe staph infections and three of them have been hospitalized for them. I don't know if you saw the pictures I posted in the thread about my daughter but it is very, very severe.

 

I apologize, I think I came across as rude/snarky. I meant no disrespect. I'm in a lot of pain today with a clogged milk duct, and recovering from heat exahaustion I got yesterday. I just meant that anyone could have something contagious at any moment.

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Yes you should always treat wounds properly. Unfortunately people get lax when they get comfortable with other people, especially family. Co-ops, church groups, and good friends can feel like family. Any possible known thing that could put someone at risk shown be disclosed. If your child has a cold that should be made known. If your child has HepB people should be told. If your family has a member that has HIV then, yes, people should be notified. There would not be so much fear of the issue if people stepped out and educated others. If it is kept hush, hush, and then leaked people are going to be upset over it. We have a good friend that has adopted two boys with HIV. She has spent a lot of time educating people and is willing to discuss any questions or concerns people have. Disclose the information if people act like jerks over the scenario be glad that they showed themselves early. Most educated, sane people will accept the realities of the world we live in and then remember to educate others.

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My mom worked with a little girl with HIV for quite some time before she got her current job. (She was some kind of health aide, I believe.) This little girl had major behavioral issues, and was constantly biting herself, trying to bite other people, spitting, throwing feces, all kinds of stuff. My mom had to clean wounds and put bandaids on her multiple times a day. The girl bit my mom on a regular basis.

 

Guess what? My mom doesn't have HIV. Other people have said it, but just to reiterate: You can't contract HIV from regular, everyday contact. If that was possible, my mom would have had HIV in about a week.

 

I don't know why so many people think you can contract it from putting a bandaid on the kid or something. Good grief.

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I think it's important to know when someone is immune compromised. I know I would be more likely to keep my child home if they had a cold or whatever if I knew there was an immune compromised person there.

My girls had a friend who had immunity issues. I do not know what they were and I don't need to know. If a child needs to be kept away from anyone who is a little sick, that can be explained without mentioning HIV. There are other immunity issues. For example, my sister's micropremie was not allowed around germs for a couple years because her lungs were not considered strong enough to deal with the minor illnesses people spread around.

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