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Is this an acceptable medical practice?


Kinsa

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I really don't know if I should be annoyed about this or not.

 

In October, my son broke his arm and had to have it reset.  Post-procedure, he was issued intravenous morphine.  Prior to its administration I told the nurse that I was allergic to morphine, as was my maternal grandfather.  She asked in what way, and I told her that I wasn't sure about my grandfather's reaction (I just knew he was allergic to it), but I had morphine intravenously after my C-section and I immediately had hives and a burning sensation as the morphine went through my veins.  And I said that I was concerned about my son getting morphine because he seems to be allergic to a lot of things.

 

Well, the nurse gave him the intravenous morphine anyway, and as soon as she did it he started breaking out in hives.  She didn't even get the syringe emptied before she had to discontinue and switch over to intravenous Benadryl.  Her response?  "Oh, I guess you were right."

 

Now, mind you, I didn't KNOW that my son was allergic to morphine prior to that experience because he'd never had any before.  But I had a hunch he might be, given the family history and the fact that he's sensitive to other types of things (ie, seasonal asthma, reaction to chicken pox vaccine, etc.)  But don't you think the medical staff should have proceeded with more caution instead of just "well let's try it anyway and see what happens"?

 

But I don't know.  Is this how it's done?  I mean, they had no proof that he was allergic to the morphine.  But I'm just a little ticked that my input apparently meant nothing to them, kwim?

 

Should I be annoyed at how this played out, or not?

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Sounds pretty standard to me.

Although I'm somewhat intolerant to morphine, and I have some family history of allergies to it, it was still the go-to "try" after my son's lung/vascular surgery. Actually, despite him breaking out in hives, his pain was so great and the morphine was the only thing that touched it, so they kept with it - they just also administered benedryl. 

 

I would suggest that if you really don't want a medication administered, instead of just noting a family history of an allergy to the medication, you flat out refuse and ask them for an alternative.

 

Some doctors consider rash/itchy to be "side effects" of certain pain medication, not necessarily an "allergy," so it may vary depending on the doctor. If they didn't know for sure that he was allergic, it may have been more time-effective for them to at least try it, since they would have to go back to the doctor for a new order for a new medication, which would mean your son is in pain and possibly for no reason (if he, by chance, WASN'T allergic).

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I told the dental assistant DS had allergies before dental work, and she immediately conferred with the dentist, who then called his allergist prior to giving him anything.

 

Told the nurse prior to a shot about his allergies, and she spoke with the ped prior to administering the shot. Even though it was diagnosed and in his chart.

 

Both times, the doctor was the one to make the decision. I don't know if this is common practice, just my experience.

 

I'm sorry your DS had to go through that. Hope he heals quickly.

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Allergies are annoying, so I'd be annoyed by that. :)

 

I'm glad your son's ok. He's ok, right?

 

We have had similar scenarios, and yes - they do try the possible med, despite a family history of allergies. Because it doesn't necessarily carry over to another person. Another person might have different allergies, it's hard to tell which will be the same, what seems to be passed on most often is the allergic tendency.

 

For me, they proceed - some with more caution than others. I am, btw, allergic to every pain med on the market that we've tried, morphine included. Not fun, with a history of multiple kidney stones and surgeries! Ouch!

 

I figure that of all places, the best place to find out is in the hospital. With the IV of Benadryl ready, and epi if necessary.

 

Sometimes they'll give Benadryl with the pain med, while trying it. I find that can confuse things further.

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I would be livid.

 

There is a new movement in the medical field.......the terminology is now that i am sensitive to narcotics....they don't like me using the word allergic. I say, "call it what you want but I don't want to violently projectile vomit all over you so don't give it to me. "

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My experience is that allergist type knowledge often isn't known by other medical professionals. I ve been in several situations (nothing life threatening) when an allergist said, after the fact, that something should have been done differently. My impression is that the latest 'literature' read by allergists does not always filter down to other doctors.

 

So, if money permits, I might choose to consult with an allergist first.

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A nurse cannot change the order for medication.  You should have asked to talk to a doctor. 

 

ETA - a good nurse would have stopped and consulted a doctor, though. 

Yes... but in a hospital setting (and I assume the OP's son was in a hospital with a bone break) it can take a WHILE to get a new medication order. By "a while" I mean, depending on the time of day, who the doctor is, and how busy they are, it can take hours if it isn't considered life threatening (and pain isn't considered such). 

 

I agree that a good nurse should have offered to ask for a new order, though - as long as she mentioned that the doctor would have to okay it and with a timeline of how long that could take. 

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Yeah, I've found only good allergists take most of these things seriously. Both dds are allergic to prednisone and have horrible itchy hives. Sometimes they still have to have it due to asthma but only if absolutely necessary. Regular doctors and nurses discount it and I don't think they really believe me until it happens. Youngest is also allergic to a well used alternative to Albuterol. Her pediatrician didn't believe me and started to give it to her during a visit and I had to rip the mask off when I double checked it was Albuterol and was told it wasn't. Our allergist has no problem with believing it, though, as he's seen it all so he advocates for us.

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I work in pharmacy, have allergies myself, and have children with extensive medial issues which require multiple medications. 

 

The nurse did what I would have expected her to do. 

 

One person's allergies have very, very little to do with what relative's allergies. Even though allergies can seem to run in families, doctors are extremely reluctant to eliminate entire classes of medications, due to that very tiny chance that one patient will be allergic to the same medication as another family member.  When you list allergies to medications on medical files, or eliminate the use of medications due to allergies, it doesn't just eliminate that medication, it eliminates multiple options due to cross sensitivity. The chance that your son is also allergic to morphine, is so tiny that I  would not have expected the doctor to adjust his treatment plan based on that information. Besides, your son was in a hospital and if he does happen to have hives, then they will treat the hives and you will know for the future. 

 

Last year, my 17yo daughter had her wisdom teeth removed.  When they gave her Vicodin (which I react to) I didn't expect or ask them to change her treatment. I wanted her to try it and I hoped she would be able to tolerate it.  She did end up reacting, but we were prepared for it, and they changed her medication for future use.  I felt it was better that we know, when I was there to help her if she needed it, then to wait until she was an adult and in a situation where she can't get help to find out. 

 

Out of my family: my mom is allergic.  My 4 siblings are not, but I am.  My daughter is, but my son is not.   Allergies are very random when it comes to who they affect and who they do not. 

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I would be livid.

 

There is a new movement in the medical field.......the terminology is now that i am sensitive to narcotics....they don't like me using the word allergic. I say, "call it what you want but I don't want to violently projectile vomit all over you so don't give it to me. "

 

I've recently run across this. 40 years ago I had codeine for the first time and I spent a few days 'violently projectile vomiting' as you so accurately describe it.  So ever since then when asked if I'm allergic to any drugs I mention that.  Then last year a nurse was updating my records before a doc visit and asked me what kind of reaction I had to codeine and when I described it, she said that's not an allergy but  just that I am sensitive to it. I told her I wanted it in my chart that I never want it again and she kind of chastised me that I was acting as if I know more about medicine than she or my doc does.  No, I just know that I don't want codeine any more, thankyouverymuch.   

 

So thanks for saying that it's a new movement because I just thought it was one nurse being kind of touchy. Now I know to be ready for it to be questioned again.  She did the same with another drug I have a 'sensitivity' to. Annoying. 

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I would be livid.

 

There is a new movement in the medical field.......the terminology is now that i am sensitive to narcotics....they don't like me using the word allergic. I say, "call it what you want but I don't want to violently projectile vomit all over you so don't give it to me. "

That has been changing because a true allergy to a medication, eliminates entire classes of medications from patients options.  An intolerance, just affects that one medication.  

 

 

For example, if you tell a pharmacy that you have an intollerance/sensitivity, or get sick to your stomach and vomit when taking Augmentin, we know that it is a common side effect of one of the ingredients in it.  The doctor may still prescribe you Amoxicillin or Penicillin if those are appropriate for what they are treating. 

 

If you tell us you are allergic to Augmentin, then you also will not be given Amoxicillin or penicillin related medications because of the chance of allergic reaction is still high.  

 

The difference between sensitivity/intolerance and true allergy often have more ramifications than what patients realize. 

 

 

ETA: it is important for the office to know about both circumstances, but we do handle them differently in charts if the software allows us to. 

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That has been changing because a true allergy to a medication, eliminates entire classes of medications from patients options. An intolerance, just affects that one medication.

 

 

For example, if you tell a pharmacy that you have an intollerance/sensitivity, or get sick to your stomach and vomit when taking Augmentin, we know that it is a common side effect of one of the ingredients in it. The doctor may still prescribe you Amoxicillin or Penicillin if those are appropriate for what they are treating.

 

If you tell us you are allergic to Augmentin, then you also will not be given Amoxicillin or penicillin related medications because of the chance of allergic reaction is still high.

 

The difference between sensitivity/intolerance and true allergy often have more ramifications that patients realize.

 

 

ETA: it is important for the office to know about both circumstances, but we do handle them differently in charts if the software allows us to.

It is every single narcotic I have ever tried. Coedine, morphine, darvon, darvacet, the 'reaction' is so severe I don't know how anyone could not agree that it is an allergy. But again I don't care what they call it, just don't give it to me.

 

Once in my 20s I had chest pains and they gave me morphine. I instantly began to hallucinate, vo it and have diarrhea all at the same time. They shot me up with an anti nausea.....can't think of the name....to the point I was knocked out.....

 

Same thing in childbirth...they gave me a drug to " take the edge off". It is a common drug for labor...,,can't recall the name...but I was instantly violently vomiting.....um, no lets go with natural all the way....

 

Horrible.. I pray I am never seriously injured or need surgery. I had appendectomy with only Tylenol afterwards.

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Tap, can you tell me what a true allergy presents like vs a sensitivity?  As I mentioned, I get very ill with codeine,  but the other drug I have an issue with caused my blood pressure to drop so rapidly that they had to give me something to reverse the effects.  Is that also considered a sensitivity?

 

Gosh, I learn so much here. The way you explained it is so much more helpful than the way I was chastised. I was given no explanation at all! Thanks. 

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I would be writing letters to her supervisors.  at the VERY LEAST, she should have taken that information to a dr for verification.  it was very irresponsible of her to proceed in light of that new information.

if this was in a hospital - I would cc the hospital administration. 

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I would be livid.

 

There is a new movement in the medical field.......the terminology is now that i am sensitive to narcotics....they don't like me using the word allergic. I say, "call it what you want but I don't want to violently projectile vomit all over you so don't give it to me. "

 

 

change it to "YOU don't want me to projectile vomit . . . "

should get their attention . . . 

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change it to "YOU don't want me to projectile vomit . . . "

should get their attention . . .

Ha right. I have no trouble saying no. I am very serious about it.

 

I don't get sick from drugs in the tranquilizer family...but I am sensitive to them. A muscle relaxer that some people can take during the day.....if I take it at night I can't function the next day..

 

Guess I wouldn't make very could drug addict.

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Same thing in childbirth...they gave me a drug to " take the edge off". It is a common drug for labor...,,can't recall the name...but I was instantly violently vomiting.....um, no lets go with natural all the way....

 

demerol?

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Ha right. I have no trouble saying no. I am very serious about it.

 

I don't get sick from drugs in the tranquilizer family...but I am sensitive to them. A muscle relaxer that some people can take during the day.....if I take it at night I can't function the next day..

 

Guess I wouldn't make very could drug addict.

 

I was thinking more of the throwing down the gauntlet threat factor. . . . they give you a narcotic, they get vomit all over them.

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With dd1 I put she's allergic to tamiflu (hives) and an adverse reaction to albuterol (projectile vomits). Doctors seem to take more kindly to me putting albuterol as an adverse reaction (though her primary has it as an allergy since she witnessed the projectile vomit when a nurse misread the chart)

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Tap, can you tell me what a true allergy presents like vs a sensitivity?  As I mentioned, I get very ill with codeine,  but the other drug I have an issue with caused my blood pressure to drop so rapidly that they had to give me something to reverse the effects.  Is that also considered a sensitivity?

 

Gosh, I learn so much here. The way you explained it is so much more helpful than the way I was chastised. I was given no explanation at all! Thanks. 

Disclaimer, I am not a doctor nor a pharmacist.  I can tell you what I have been taught, see in practice, and give you internet links, BUT for anyone reading this, please get real medical information from your own doctor, who knows you and your medical history!  Only that person can tell you definitively if you are having side effects to a medicine or an allergic reaction. 

 

Mayo Clinic link for drug allergy

 

Mayo Clinic link for anaphylaxis 

 

 

Important to note: nausea is listed as a possible sign of anaphylaxis (not just for meds, but for anything that comes in contact with the body) .  But, just like in life, nausea is usually just nausea, not an anaphylatic reaction! If we all stopped eating every food we had eaten on a specific day, because we got nauseous on that day, just because it might be an anaphylatic reaction that would not make any sense. There are lots of times that people eat too much/too fast, or have a stomach bug, have morning sickness, have acid reflux, have food poisoning, are car sick, etc and those have nothing to do with an allergy. The same is true with medication.  One of the most common side effects of medications is nausea (WebMD article listing GI symptoms as the most common side effect ie nausea/vomiting).  Only your doctor can help you figure out if your reaction is an allergic reaction or a common side effect. 

 

 

If a medication is making you sick, you have to consider allergy as a possibility, but it is not the Only possibility. 

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I'd be annoyed, because I think that ultimately, parents should be able to refuse it and suggest an alternative.  I do understand that there's a good chance that he would not have reacted, and that it's good to know one way or another, and that it was a safe place to try it.  (Especially since the reaction was not a particularly bad one -- I mean, it was not one that would have led to a severe injury or death.)  So, I probably would have wanted them to try it in the end.  However, it seems like she should have discussed this with you and explained her reasoning.  That's the part that baffles me.

 

My husband has a very strange reaction to laughing gas.  It's so bizarre, that he has it listed on all of his medical charts and canNOT take it.  But we've allowed several of our kids to try it because it really is a fairly common drug and it would be nice if they didn't have the same reaction.  They've tried it in a safe medical setting, and did NOT have a bad reaction at all.  So, I'm glad we tried it and now we know that they can use it.  That being said, it was a decision we made and discussed with the medical team beforehand.

 

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As a layperson, I would be annoyed to a certain extent.  But I'd also be a bit glad to have concrete evidence that was obtained in a controlled environment.  Now you know for certain with little ill-effect, and he, hopefully, won't have to suffer from a reaction in an emergency situation.

 

That isn't to downplay his reaction or the dismissal of your concerns.  Just an attempt to look on the bright side.

 

I never feel confident when discussing possible reactions for myself.  I was very sick after surgery and don't know for certain whether it was from the anesthesia or morphine or simply all the manhandling of my innards.  I do wish there were an option to solve the mystery in a controlled environment so I could limit any future misery after a procedure.

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demerol?

No it was nubane. It was horrible. The instant they gave it to me I had violent dry heaves because I had no food in me,..,it was late into my labor.....thankfully it was a short lasting drug...like 10 minutes.....but I added it to my list of things I will never take again.

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As upsetting as it was, that's pretty standard.

 

Unless there is a proven allergy, most medical people are going to proceed as if there isn't one even if there is a familial tendency. Sometimes things like that are passed down, and some aren't.

 

 

 

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I agree with the others who said its standard. This would be a totally different scenario if you knew DS was allergic to morphine, told them, and they gave it anyway. Allergies aren't necessarily passed down; my mother is allergic to a ton of things that none of her eight children are. Same for many families. An allergist may take family history into account for allergy determination and testing but in the clinical setting that won't be used for drug determination. She could have asked to call the doctor, but likely the doctor would have refused to change the order, and the nurse knew that. Again, totally different scenario if they gave him a drug he had a known allergy too.

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It's totally standard.  YOU are allergic (as was your grandfather), but you did not know if your son was.  Now, if you had said your son was allergic and she didn't call the doctor to get the order changed, that would have been a problem.  Now you know he is allergic and should never get it again.  My sister is allergic to codeine.  I can have codeine just fine, though the first time I was given it my mom mentioned that my sister is allergic.  They just knew to watch for a reaction just in case.  I am allergic to sulfa drugs.  I've been told that if my kids are ever given them to watch for a reaction.  Me being allergic does not mean they cannot have them because it does not mean I definitely passed the allergy on to them.

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Right. And in that scenario, if she had to track down the doctor, get orders for new meds, go to the fancy locked up machine to get the new meds, log them, etc and come back your son could have been in some serious pain by then. And once you are behind on the pain it is very hard to catch up. 

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Also in the not an allergy, just a reaction, I get itchy from codeine. I get a little itchy with vicodin too, but not as bad. Those are common side effects of the drugs, and despite the intense itching (miserably itchy...every inch of my body) it isn't an allergic reaction just a side effect. Thankfully I remembered at the last minute when I had my surgery and got a different drug via my iv...I think demerol? But that made me have an upset stomach. Again, not an allergy, an adverse reaction. When I went home they put me on a newer drug called Nucynta (expensive, but the drug manufacturer has a coupon on the website) that didn't make me itchy at al. 

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Also in the not an allergy, just a reaction, I get itchy from codeine. I get a little itchy with vicodin too, but not as bad. Those are common side effects of the drugs, and despite the intense itching (miserably itchy...every inch of my body) it isn't an allergic reaction just a side effect. Thankfully I remembered at the last minute when I had my surgery and got a different drug via my iv...I think demerol? But that made me have an upset stomach. Again, not an allergy, an adverse reaction. When I went home they put me on a newer drug called Nucynta (expensive, but the drug manufacturer has a coupon on the website) that didn't make me itchy at al.

You've got my attention. :)

 

I am allergic to all codeine and synthetic codeine. And morphine. And Dilaudid, and more. But I've never heard of Nucynta. How new is it? ...research time!

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You've got my attention. :)

 

I am allergic to all codeine and synthetic codeine. And morphine. And Dilaudid, and more. But I've never heard of Nucynta. How new is it? ...research time!

Dilaudid, that's what they gave me IV. No idea if it made me itchy because it knocked me on my butt, lol. 

 

Nucynta is sort of related to tramadol but stronger. It's totally synthetic, versus being an opioid. My husband gets itchy with codeine too and nucynta doesn't make him itch either. Good stuff. 

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Dilaudid, that's what they gave me IV. No idea if it made me itchy because it knocked me on my butt, lol.

 

Nucynta is sort of related to tramadol but stronger. It's totally synthetic, versus being an opioid. My husband gets itchy with codeine too and nucynta doesn't make him itch either. Good stuff.

Thank you. I'm going to look into it, to be prepared next time it's needed. There is nothing fun about surgery and kidney stones without pain meds!

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That has been changing because a true allergy to a medication, eliminates entire classes of medications from patients options.  An intolerance, just affects that one medication.  

 

 

For example, if you tell a pharmacy that you have an intollerance/sensitivity, or get sick to your stomach and vomit when taking Augmentin, we know that it is a common side effect of one of the ingredients in it.  The doctor may still prescribe you Amoxicillin or Penicillin if those are appropriate for what they are treating. 

 

If you tell us you are allergic to Augmentin, then you also will not be given Amoxicillin or penicillin related medications because of the chance of allergic reaction is still high.  

 

The difference between sensitivity/intolerance and true allergy often have more ramifications than what patients realize. 

 

 

ETA: it is important for the office to know about both circumstances, but we do handle them differently in charts if the software allows us to. 

This is true. Also, many people think they are allergic to some drug when in fact it was just a side effect and not an allergy.

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In my experience, a suspected allergy would mean that the suspected allergen would be administered with caution, with a plan for what would be needed if an actual reaction occurred -- and then it would be a known allergy, which is extremely useful info for a patient to have.

 

However,

 

1. I would not expect the cavalier attitude. I'd expect, "Thank you for allerting us, that's extremely valuable information, and here's what we usually do when we have reason to suspect that a patient might react: this is how we proceed with caution, the results are clear and the risk is low." Followed by, "Mrs. So-n-so, I know that was an allergic reaction, and we were able to swiftly control it according to our planned procedure. You can now be medically sure that this allergy is real. It will be relevant in many future situations. Have you considered medic-allert?"

 

2. I would not have expected her to "do it anyways" -- I would have expected her to *reccomend* going through with it, and ask your consent. Without your consent, no drug should be administered to your child (or yourself as a patent). It doesn't matter if you are concerned about pixie dust contamination -- consent is required. Not giving credence to your concerns does not allow nurses to ignore the rules of consent (Canadian).

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This is true. Also, many people think they are allergic to some drug when in fact it was just a side effect and not an allergy.

 

Just because it is "only a reaction" doesn't mean it is not serious.  With any reaction, you have to do a risk/benefit analysis.  Is the benefit of this medication worth the risk?  Are there safer alternatives out there? 

 

I have serious reaction to Vicodin.  I get so severely constipated that I develop a bowel impaction, despite everything we do to prevent constipation.  They gave it to me after the birth of my first child due to the pain from a 3rd degree laceration (tear into the rectal muscle.)  Well, the resulting constipation and efforts to remove the impaction tore the stitches and I never healed right.  Several years later, I got up the courage to have this worked on again.  I told the surgeon over and over again about my reaction to Vicodin and we came up with an alternate pain-management plan.  Unbeknownst to me, they gave me Vicodin to me post-surgically despite our previous discussions.  Low and behold, I ended up with severe constipation despite doing everything right to prevent it and the stitches tore again - the whole reason for having the surgery in the first place.  Now I have so much scar tissue that going in for a 3rd repair is not in the cards and I have to live with this for the rest of my life.  So, "reaction" is nothing to sneeze at. 

 

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One person's allergies have very, very little to do with what relative's allergies. Even though allergies can seem to run in families, doctors are extremely reluctant to eliminate entire classes of medications, due to that very tiny chance that one patient will be allergic to the same medication as another family member.  When you list allergies to medications on medical files, or eliminate the use of medications due to allergies, it doesn't just eliminate that medication, it eliminates multiple options due to cross sensitivity. The chance that your son is also allergic to morphine, is so tiny that I  would not have expected the doctor to adjust his treatment plan based on that information. Besides, your son was in a hospital and if he does happen to have hives, then they will treat the hives and you will know for the future. 

 

 

This is what I've experienced as well. I'm allergic to penicillin and doctors always respect that. When my kids were little and we took them to the pediatrician, he always asked if they had allergies and I said no, but I do, and he said there's not a genetic component. 

 

So I wouldn't be too upset at the situation in the OP. 

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It's acceptable and makes sense.  If your son had a true opioid allergy he couldn't receive any morphine, demerol, etc.  He doesn't.  If his only reaction was hives then he has a histamine response to the opioid, technically a pseudo allergy.  It sounds like the nurse had benadryl available (if she gave it before she's even finished the morphine), which is proper protocol.  

 

via dd

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Agreeing with those who say it's standard and that your allergy isn't his allergy. 

 

 

 Thankfully I remembered at the last minute when I had my surgery and got a different drug via my iv...I think demerol? But that made me have an upset stomach. Again, not an allergy, an adverse reaction. 

 

I didn't quote your other post but you said later that it was dilaudid. They gave me that when I broke my ankle and was in the hospital to have pins put in it. It worked really, really well. Nausea is a side effect and they also gave me an anti-nausea medication. However, the timing of the two was different. I could only have the anti-nausea every 6 hours while I could have the dilaudid  every 4 hours. They left it up to me to decide, and a few times the pain level was low enough that I'd wait until I could have both. The nausea was that bad that I preferred to hold off on the pain meds until I could get the two together.

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Who ever said a side effect can be serious is so right. As I said before all those narcotics make me violently ill. Not just upset stomach. It feels like an alien in my body demanding to get out. If I had to compare that side effect to say giving birth....giving birth was a .5 on the bad scale and my side effects from narcotics is a 10.

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That sounds normal.  I think generally doctors prefer to try the most commonly used medication before branching out.  It sounds like they did it responsibly if she had a syringe of benadryl ready to begin immediately.

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I have had a similar thing happen to me. My mother and some of my siblings are very sensitive to Valium - so I told  my Dr this. he said things like that cannot be passed down. While in labor with ds21 I was given something  with Valium in it. Guess what - I had the same reaction as my family members. acting out hallucinations I was literally standing on the bed yelling out that there were cave men and dinosaurs under the bed attacking us. I was in an alternate conscious state and not aware of how bizarre I was behaving. Now I just tell drs the redaction I have and they make sure they don't give me anything with Valium in it.

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I had a friend who was allergic to sugar (not hypoglycemia; allergy).  She met with the floor nurses, the surgeon, the anestheseologist, everyone she could, prior to major surgery, to make this allergy known, and to request the post-op *sugar-free* saline (I think).  

 

After her surgery, she was in a coma for three days until finally someone figured out that they had used the sugar-including saline.  

 

Three days.  In a coma.  

 

After her relatively brief recovery, she asked her surgeon WHY this had happened after all her due diligence.  His response?  "Oh.  I thought you were kidding."

 

Do I think this is normal?  NO.  But it did happen.  Even with knowledge of the allergy and thorough preventative actions...  I hope your son is better by now.  

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I have had a similar thing happen to me. My mother and some of my siblings are very sensitive to Valium - so I told  my Dr this. he said things like that cannot be passed down. While in labor with ds21 I was given something  with Valium in it. Guess what - I had the same reaction as my family members. acting out hallucinations I was literally standing on the bed yelling out that there were cave men and dinosaurs under the bed attacking us. I was in an alternate conscious state and not aware of how bizarre I was behaving. Now I just tell drs the redaction I have and they make sure they don't give me anything with Valium in it.

 

How awful!  And you must be so glad that this happened before it could go viral on the internet...

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I had a friend who was allergic to sugar (not hypoglycemia; allergy).  She met with the floor nurses, the surgeon, the anestheseologist, everyone she could, prior to major surgery, to make this allergy known, and to request the post-op *sugar-free* saline (I think).  

 

After her surgery, she was in a coma for three days until finally someone figured out that they had used the sugar-including saline.  

 

Three days.  In a coma.  

 

After her relatively brief recovery, she asked her surgeon WHY this had happened after all her due diligence.  His response?  "Oh.  I thought you were kidding."

 

Do I think this is normal?  NO.  But it did happen.  Even with knowledge of the allergy and thorough preventative actions...  I hope your son is better by now.  

 

Something similar (but not as dramatic) almost happened to me a few years ago.  I had to go under anesthesia for a procedure.  When they asked if I had any known drug allergies, I told them no.  But, I told them that I'm allergic to wheat and to please put that on my bracelet.  They looked at me strangely, but wrote it anyway.

 

Several hours later as I was first coming to, I realized that a nurse was trying to feed me juice and saltines.  Miraculously, I was coherent enough to tell her no to the crackers.  So thankful that nothing bad happened.

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Who ever said a side effect can be serious is so right. As I said before all those narcotics make me violently ill. Not just upset stomach. It feels like an alien in my body demanding to get out. If I had to compare that side effect to say giving birth....giving birth was a .5 on the bad scale and my side effects from narcotics is a 10.

 

I'd just like to see some kind of respect and communication from medical staff.  Sometimes it's doctors, and sometimes it's nurses, but I've had enough of both patronize me to know it can't be put down to a few individuals here and there.  Simple explanations can go a long way, even in a situation like the OP where maybe it needed to happen afterward (I wasn't there, so I have no idea how tense and urgent it was--it sounds like it was pretty urgent).  

 

If a patient says they experience things like Scarlett's describing, that shouldn't be dismissed or patronized.  Even all over miserable itchiness should be watched.  That sounds suspicious to me.  

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Allergies to drugs can cause real delays in care. Not a medical professional, but I can understand why they didn't change their care based on there being a possibility that he would have a reaction.

 

FWIW, my sister is possibly allergic to a common antibiotic. When she was in labor, they did various things to stall labor because she needed an alternative and it took 6 extra hours to get it to her (and this was in a very cutting edge hospital). I think it caused her a lot of extra pain and she put it at the top of her list of things to do to find out if she had outgrown her allergy.

 

ETA: I had a bad reaction to Valium - hallucinating. The alternative they gave me was a lot less powerful, but I didn't want to hallucinate again!

 

Emily

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