Coma woman mix-up pains US family

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by iGav, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    I read the article just before you posted this and thought that if it was a movie or book plot, no-one would believe it.

    I can understand there being possible identification mistakes in the first few hours/days when the face is particularly swollen/damaged but not to realise for over 5 weeks? Surely, there would have been shots of the 5 who 'died' in the press. Did they share a blood type in addition to both being blonde and attractive that confused everyone?

    Having said all that, my heart goes out to both families who have had this situation dragged on (in addition to the others who lost family/friends). For those who were coming to terms with the loss of their daughter only to discover that she is alive but another family has been caring for her in her most desperate hour, I'd imagine there are feelings of massive rejoicing tempered with some guilt for not being there for her. For the family who thought they'd been spared only to discover that they should have grieved, I'd imagine that it's even worse.
     
  2. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #3
    This is possible to happen.

    I mean not even the dead girls family knew that it wasn't their relative in the coma
     
  3. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #4
    I'm amazed that the families are both so understanding. Most people would have filed a suit already.
     
  4. Boggle macrumors 6502

    Boggle

    #5
    Let me guess, you're a trauma counselor aren't you?

    What's wrong couldn't you find a nearby groups of kids to enlighten about how aweful life is, how their parents are ruining the planet and don't really care about them. Perhaps you could explain how they won't amount to anything so they don't bother to try?

    Or you could get a job in hospital talking with the people getting ready for surgery, maybe let them know what they're in for, in case they're too confident. Oh, better still, get a job a retirement community, they could really use someone with your unique sensitivity.
     
  5. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #6
    now why would they file suit?

    One of the families was taking care of the girl, they made the exact same mistake of not recognizing that it wasn't their child


    oh wait i understand. I forgot this was america


    They will just sue themselves, gotcha.


    I am going under the assumption that No ID was on the persons in the accident, or destroyed. 2 they did look similar and have the same features. 3 Not everyone has had their blood type and antibody screening (most don't have it done unless having surgery that requires a T+S or PC, PCA or have had a transfusion before) Unless they wanted to get a mold of said coma patient's teeth (assuming one of them had already have a dental mold already done) while she was in a neck brace, without causing possible more injury. Would you risk that? I know I wouldn't.

    So yes very possible it could have been done.
     
  6. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #7
    People in America just sue because.. it's the thing to do.

    She died? You should give me some money! Make up for what I spent on her!
     
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    This is like those stories about baby mixups in the hospital, where parents take the wrong baby home. But much more tragic.

    Even if you carry around a card identifying your blood type (or are able to say what it is yourself), hospitals will ignore that evidence and test your type themselves before giving you blood. That's to prevent mistakes that could be fatal. So the girls may have had different blood types, but unless the parents whose daughter died knew her blood type and paid attention to the hospital records, they might not have noticed a difference.

    People look so different in a hospital setting with no daily showers, no hair fixing, no makeup, oxygen masks on, not to mention bruises and other injuries that may have changed their appearance, that it's out-of-the-ordinary but not inconceivable that parents wouldn't know it wasn't their daughter, especially given the fact that officials told them it was their daughter and that what really happened would be too farfetched for them to think of.

    So until their "daughter" was lucid enough to not act like their daughter, they simply didn't know.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Wow, why are you ripping into Counterfit? :(
     
  9. runninmac macrumors 65816

    runninmac

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford MI
    #10
    This may sound like im just one of those people online that make up crap that they semi-know people involved in this but one of my good friends brothers friends was really close with them. (I know long shot but...) The whole accident happend right around where I live (~15 mins away). Really sad how this whole thing happened. Heres a link to a more local news http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=55476
     
  10. musicalmcs8706 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    #11
    I know what you mean. I also have several close connections to this. How sad. I cannot imagine what this is like.
     
  11. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #12
    I wasn't as surprised until I went to read their blog about Laura/Whitney. When her sister was talking about how the swelling had gone down and they were fixing her hair up into braids/ponytails/pigtails and removing the bandages (this was still 3 weeks before they made the discovery). Apparently, the girl had been asking for her father and looking confused when they called her 'Laura' - must have made her 'recovery' more difficult too.
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #13
    Boggle, do you honestly think there is a need for this? Posts like that one sour the atmosphere. Do me a favour and think what you're posting before hitting the "Submit Reply" button.
     
  13. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #14
    wtf was that all about? :confused:
     
  14. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15

    He never said they should sue each other. Anytime there are mistakes made of this magnitude there is the chance of litigation. Not between the families but between the families and the hospital. And I'm not saying that should happen, I'm just saying its usually a good bet that it will. You really need to lighten up.
     
  15. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16

    Yes, and people in other countries dont sue. Ever. Its perfect everywhere else. I cant believe the ignorance I see here sometimes.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #17
    Sue for what?

    If you have ever seen someone in a car accident at the hospital, 99% of the time people always say "that not my _______". Then they come to terms with their loved one looking so horrid and in pain.

    It takes time to look "normal" again.

    No one is at fault here but circumstance.
     
  17. Boggle macrumors 6502

    Boggle

    #18
    Ok, I definately should have tempered my comments. I'm sorry. I lost my temper and was inappropriate. But the post pissed me off.

    His comments were thoughtless and mean. The idea that someone is "amazed" when people don't sue requires that you ASSUME the victims would AND SHOULD sue. It also implies that the author of the suggestion is in possession of all the facts. The post I quoted demonstrated no true consideration for the people who attempted to help the victims, the victims themselves, or the 2 families of the victims. It also showed a complete lack of experience around a physical trauma (particularly facial trauma) victim.

    In my early 20's I worked on behalf of hospitals, doctors, and patients and have seen some very gruesome sites as a part of that experience. What I can tell you is this. The only people who are ever happy to hear someone suggest a lawsuit are contingency lawyers and people who already want to sue. The people who live and work with the kinds of horrible experiences don't appreciate such comments.

    Sincerely,

    Boggle.
     
  18. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #19
    Ok lets calm this down a bit. I am going the route of Doctor Q here.

    I work in a hospital and go up on all the floors all the time.



    Here is a story for you people.

    I used to draw a patient for a PT for his coumadin level every week about two years ago.

    This patient recently had a knee replacement surgery and i went into said patients room to draw the patient, and could vaguely remember the patients face it was hard due to swelling (and this is from knee replacement) I only knew it was the patient from the name on the door the labels and the wrist band on the patient.


    Skip to today Said patient is in a gurney on the floors being rushed to critical care. I had absolutely no idea who it was due to swelling, and just well the usual hospital effects of bruising and hard to clean yourself and the such. It took a coworker of mine to vaguely remember who the patient was. The only reason i remembered is because they were coming from the section where the patient was staying originally.

    I have known this patient for almost 3 years now and I had no idea who the patient was when the patient was being rushed (and i do mean rushed, many nurses pushing and doctor there as well, had a tracheotomy apparently from what i could tell [and an emergency one at that]) The patient just looked bad.

    All I said was "oh my god i couldn't even tell it was [insert patient name here]. I hope [insert patient name] gets better soon, this is horrible."


    And this is just from probably an infection due to knee replacement surgery

    not a car crash



    And also Doctor Q. You are absolutely correct about the blood type cards. A hospital MUST perform a blood type and antibody screen for surgery's or other types of things transfusions and the such. because a patients antibody screen can change due to infections, so if you were to give a patient the correct type of blood (a, b, ab, or o) you can still kill the patient from the antibody screen.

    So having your blood type on a card means absolutely zilch to a hospital.


    Transfusions and Dialysis can change a person's antibody screen drastically. Which is why for surgery you have to have a type and screen done after your last dialysis appointment before your surgery.

    This is also why a Type and screen is only viable for 72 hours if a patient has had a transfusion in the last 3 months. Due to possible changes occurring.
     
  19. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #20
    In traumas, your focus is completely on saving a life. Identification comes later. ID's are often destroyed in the fire, and at any rate a person's clothes are typically sheared off ASAP so that one can get IV's and airways in as soon as possible. No one looks like themself after facial trauma PLUS an artificial airway (anyone who has had a relative intubated will know what I mean). As for the person who suggested that a lawsuit be filed, well that's just nuts. For what? Even they couldn't tell that was their daughter, and identification based on DNA can take months.

    Dave
     
  20. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #21
    When you see the pictures of the girls before the accident, it's an easy mistake to make. There is quite a physical resemblance. The article also notes that the girls were at college together, so the parents who thought their daughter had survived are unlikely to have met the other girl before.

    It's just awful when you think about what they've gone through. To have gone through the worry of whether she'd survive, then the relief as she starts to recover, only to realise that your own family member actually passed away weeks ago. And the other family must be having such mixed emotions.

    My sympathies go out to all involved, including the families of the other students killed in this tragedy.
     
  21. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #22
    Wow, that's an odd story. I don't think I've ever heard of that happening.
     
  22. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23

    I dont think anyone ever said there SHOULD be a lawsuit. Just the the thought that usually people are kinda quick to want to sue, especially in such an emotional situation. Thats part of what the little disagreement was about a little further up the thread.

    But just to clarify, I can totally understand the mix-up. Accidents happen. I cant imagine what the families are going through. My thoughts are with them. Unless there is some proff of gross negligence, certainly no lawsuit should be brought against anyone.

    Now I would like to suggest a group hug...
     
  23. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a

    rosalindavenue

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #24
    The outrage in this case needs to be directed towards the tractor-trailer driver who did this to these young women. The tractor trailer "drifted across the highway median;" he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Link.
    There are about 3 million car-related injuries a year, 2 million permanent injuries and 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Link. This carnage needs to stop.
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #25
    Why sue ... just go beat the crap out of the Deputy Coroner who helped them identify the wrong body.
     

Share This Page