For almost 4 weeks, four-year-old Autumn Schall has been virtually trapped at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, in Palo Alto, CA against the will of her parents. Today, mother Hope Schacter joins the program to discuss Autumn’s situation.
Autumn was admitted to the teaching hospital for an e-coli infection but within days, she became critically ill, receiving care in the ICU, being given intravenously a cocktail of risky drugs, and eventually put on a ventilator. When the parents questioned the treatment, the hospital reported them to Child Protective Services. They are working with advocates and a lawyer to have her moved to another hospital where their daughter won’t be viewed as a “case study,” and the family is treated like an ally not an adversary.
Autumn was referred to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for a diagnostic work to examine her bowel after a week-long case of diarrhea. Her bowel was normal, but the hospital diagnosed an e-coli condition and wanted to admit her. After the parents agreed, the hospital proceeded with an aggressive treatment plan including powerful drugs such as Lasix, Diarel, and Aminophalen.
“Their protocol was very aggressive. My daughter was never on Tylenol before. She was never really sick and when they’re throwing all these diuretics at you, and given the side effects these can produce, I just thought it was a lot for her constitution,” said Hope Schacter.
The family has been working with Remnant Nursing advocacy services which has identified multiple ethical and clinical lapses.
Schacter believes the hospital is trying to cover up clinical errors at the beginning of care that damaged her daughter’s kidneys and caused her to have a seizure. They complied with all treatment recommendations, even an MRI, which required intubation. Autumn has also had to undergo a blood transfusion. There was a hearing involving the CPS complaint. The hospital is trying to get the parents to sign off on all intervention deemed “emergency,” but the parents say it has been vaguely defined.
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