Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Medical information missing
Medical information missing
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 11:33:52 EDT
A Scouter writes:
We went to a rather remote camp for a week and one
of our AD/HD Scouts was acting terribly unusual. He generally made life
miserable, but in addition he had several paranoid incidents and threatened
suicide frequently. We made numerous calls to the parents and left messages
at work and home--no responses at all from them. His medical form indicated
a change in his medication, to which we attributed the changes. Upon
arriving home we discovered that the medical form was incorrect, the Scout
was on a "medication vacation" and was not on any prescribed medication at
all. His father was aware of this, but made no attempt to inform us. The
Scout had been thrown out of 2 other camps in the previous weeks, and the
father wanted his son to go away to camp and we suspect he didn't want to be
bothered to pick him up midweek (thus the failure to return our phone
calls). My concern is what would have happened if we'd had to take the boy
to the camp hospital? The parents were non-responsive and the medical form
was wrong, which I'm assuming would have influenced any medical diagnosis
made by the resident physician. Was this as dangerous as I think it was?
Yup, and maybe more so.
A few questions come to mind: Did you KNOW he'd been "thrown out of 2 camps
the previous weeks"? If so, then didn't this raise enough of a red flag to
have you enquire specifically to the parents about the kid's mental health?
or at least his "readiness" for a camp experience?
The parents who did not return phone calls-- did they give an alternative
person to call? On every med form I've ever seen, there's another name for
emergency contact--- use it. Sometimes a parent will be shamed into action if
they know somebody else knows what's going on.
If this child harmed himself or others, and you were not given proper
information regarding his medication needs and status, then you would
probably be held to be acting in good faith and not liable for damages. Had
you had to take him to a camp health lodge, hospital or other facility, they
would have to act on the med form the parents provided, and could not be held
liable for missing or inaccurate information beyond what their own exam
findings would tell them. In addition, it is appropriate for multiple
discussions of suicidal intent to be taken seriously, and the child should be
taken to a hospital ED for evaluation. THAT might get the parents' attention,
In my pre-camp handout I am very explicit about medications. I state that
attention and behavior needs at camp are similar to those for school and
community activities, and that camp is not the time to give your child a
medication holiday. I offer to discuss this with any parent who has a child
on behavior meds; if they don't come to me, then I go to them.
I would have these parents come to a troop committee meeting and give them
specific reasons why this was a dangerous situation for their child, and let
them know that under no circumstances will this sort of parental negligence
(which it was) be tolerated on your watch again. Offer to work with them,
discuss the child's needs, offer to have the pediatrician or behavioral med
specialist who works with the child come to a meeting so everyone can have a
clearer idea of what they're working with. But do not allow this grossly
unsafe practice to occur again.
SA T47 Sandwich MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety and going in 01!
I useta be an Eagle...