As I mentioned in my introductory post that I would write about real life experiences that families with Internationally Adopted children have in the immediate Post-Adoption period in the medical field.
Today I will write about little Jeremy who is only 6 months old, and only recently arrived to the United States from Guatemala.
While still in Guatemala, Jeremy was slightly ill with a slight case of Diarrhea. The agency and parents wanted to make sure that nothing would delay the Adoption process so they did not seek medical attention while still in Guatemala. After 2-3 in the U.S.A., Jeremy still had persistent diarrhea and the mother was concerned, so she proceeded to a local emergency room. The doctors felt that the child was dehydrated so Intravenous fluid were started and some preliminary blood work was drawn. Because Jeremy was very robust and dehydrated, the drawing of the blood specimen was very difficult. After a few hours of IV fluids, Jeremy perked up and began to drink fluids; he was given a diagnosis of “A Stomach Virus”.
The results of the blood work did not get posted yet, but since it was really late and the child was doing well, the decision was made to send the child home with follow-up with his pediatrician. “We will call you with the results if anything is abnormal” Sure enough, a few hours later, a oncologist “Cancer doctor” calls Jeremy’s mother with a grave concern that he may have Leukemia and must return to the hospital for Admission, blood test, maybe a bone marrow. The mother was devastated. She had just adopted Jeremy only 4 days ago how could this be? She returned with Jeremy the next day to the hospital as instructed, and a repeated blood specimen was taken which was completely normal.
Jeremy’s mother related to me that this was the worst night that she has ever had. I had seen the infant as follow-up from the emergency room visit and explained tried to explain what happened to her. Why one result was abnormal and one was normal. It was very simple. The child being very robust and dehydrated, the blood clotted in the specimen container, and because of this, the values of the bloodlines were all distorted.
If Jeremy’s mother would have went to a children’s hospital they would have know to just repeat the specimen and not alarm the parents with false values. Sometimes too much information is not good. Jeremy is doing well now, no leukemia. Just a case of late night misinformation.
George Rogu M.D. Founder of Adoptiondoctors.com and Adoptioneducationclasses.com
For Domestic & International Adoption Medical Records Review