icelightning (icelightning) wrote in bad_service,

Hospital Ignoring Allergies Suck

This post reminded me about a hospital suck that happened last January. The surgeon that removed my gallbladder was awesome, and excitedly kept my gallstones, as they were some of the biggest he's ever seen. The hospital the surgery was in? Not so awesome.

I have an extremely rare allergy to anything with acrylates/methacrylates. When I come into contact with these substances for any length of time, I generally develop a light rash to full blown hives on the affected area. They are included in such things as acrylic (face) paint, acrylic cloth, plastic band aids (specifically, the adhesive), most make-up, most lotions, most fragrances/colognes, most shampoos and conditioners, non-ceramic dental fillings before they're inert, certain medications coatings, soaps, technically some food packaging, some of the absorption materials in pads/tampons, some detergents, most cleaning supplies, nail products, and many others.

Because of this, I've gotten incredibly used to reading the labels of anything I use, when available. Unfortunately, with such things as cleaning supplies, the acrylates used are part of their proprietary formula, and require searching to find their acrylate content. This is also true for medication coatings, whose acrylate content can only be guessed at by googling patents.

I informed the hospital, many times, of my allergy prior to surgery, using plastic band aids as only ONE example. I was given an allergy bracelet for band aids so I assumed that everything else was safe. After surgery, I found out that they had ignored the allergy bracelet, but was able to have a nurse quickly change out the band aids for paper tape, and I only had a minor case of hives.

About a week later, I broke out in the worst hives I had ever experienced (enough that I nearly woke up screaming one night from the itching) all along my stomach and partially up my sides--which had all been dyed blue a week before by the body prep solution they used. A trip to my school's health center later, I had a blood test indicating an allergic reaction.

I found out the hospital used DURAPREP, and right on the DURAPREP Material Safety Data Sheet are the words "1-10% acrylates" in the ingredients list and a description of my exact allergic reaction. If it's like any other MSDS, then it's a legal requirement to have that information on file. It is also freely available information on the web.

I never complained to the hospital, even if I should have, due to tl;dr reasons. However, I'm worried that someone with a worse allergic reaction might be exposed. Currently, the plan is write a letter to the hospital, but I'm not entirely sure whom to direct it to. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Tags: *medical/pharmacy, first do no harm?
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