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This is a factual narrative that details an E.R. nurse’s experiences with adverse vaccine reactions. This is not about being for or against vaccines, this is about education and informed consent. This is a must read for every parent!
As an E.R. nurse, I have seen the cover up. Where do you think kids go when they have a vaccine reaction?
They go to the E.R. They come to me.
I cannot even begin to guess how many times over the years I have seen vaccine reactions come through my E.R. Without any exaggeration, it has to be counted in hundreds.
Sometimes it seemed like it was one or two cases in a single shift, every shift, for weeks. Then I would get a lull, and I wouldn’t catch one for a week or two, then I’d catch another case per night for a couple weeks. This was common.
Some higher power apparently smiled on my attempt to open the eyes of another nurse I guess, because not even ten minutes later, a woman brought her child up to the counter. Sudden onset super high fever and lethargy. I asked if the child was up to date on vaccination.
The mother replied he had them just a few hours ago.
I glanced at the student, who looked shocked and looked back at me in disbelief. I nodded, told them to remember this, and then took the mom and her child to finish the triage in back. When I was done I came back and sat down with the student, and asked what he learned that night so far.
The first response: “What I was told about vaccines wasn’t true”.
I couldn’t have said it better. That student is going to go on to be like me, advocating for his patients with his eyes wide open.
The cases almost always presented similarly, and often no one else connected it. The child comes in with either a fever approaching 105, or seizures, or lethargy/can’t wake up, or sudden overwhelming sickness, screaming that won’t stop, spasms, GI inclusion, etc.
And one of the first questions I would ask as triage nurse, was, are they current on their vaccinations? It’s a safe question that nobody sees coming, and nobody understands the true impact of. Parents (and co-workers) usually just think I’m trying to rule out the vaccine preventable diseases, when in fact, I am looking to see how recently they were vaccinated to determine if this is a vaccine reaction.
Too often I heard a parent say something akin to “Yes they are current, the pediatrician caught up their vaccines this morning during their check up, and the pediatrician said they were in perfect health!”
If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that, I could fly to Europe for free, but here’s the more disturbing part.
For all the cases I’ve seen, I have never seen any medical provider report them to VAERS. I have filed VAERS reports. But I am the only nurse that I have ever met that files VAERS reports. Mind you, I have served in multiple hospitals across multiple states, alongside probably well over a hundred doctors and probably 300-400+ nurses. I’ve worked in big hospitals (San Francisco Bay Area Metro 40 bed ER, Las Vegas NV Metro 44 bed ER) and small hospitals (Rural access 2 bed ER, remote community 4 bed ER) and everything in between. When I say never, I mean never.
I have even made a point of sitting in the most prominent spot at the nurses station filling out a VAERS report to make sure as many people saw me doing it as possible to generate the expected “what are you doing” responses to get that dialog going with people.
And in every case, if a nurse approached me, their response was “I’ve never done that” or “I didn’t know we could do that” or, worse “What is VAERS?” which was actually the most common response. The response from doctors? Silence. Absolute total refusal to engage in discussion or to even acknowledge what I was doing or what VAERS was. The big take away from that?