It's dangerous
December 14, 2000 8:19 AM   Subscribe

It's dangerous to be a kid these days.
But then, it's dangerous to be old, too.
posted by Steven Den Beste (4 comments total)
it's mad nando, nando world.
posted by tiaka at 8:36 AM on December 14, 2000

Oh man, the first three are just sick and wrong and horrifyingly sad. The last one is sad too, but it's a different kind of thing (tragic mistake).

1. The lady w/the microwave - why didn't she resume taking her medication after she had the baby? What the hell? (most medications are quite safe for nursing mothers, by the way, and even in rare cases when they're not, there are usually safe alternatives to use). Was she at risk for post-partum depression, or the more severe form known as post-partum psychosis? This sounds like a lot *more* than just epilepsy to me. How horrid. Yikes.

2. Why didn't the mom get a restraining order against this guy and keep the kids away from him? He tried to break her neck - holy fricking cow, I'd never allow such a scumbag bastard near my kid(s). I guess this is a good argument for children learning skilled self-defense at an early age.

3. Has the dad ever heard of a fucking BABYSITTER?!?!? This is just too tragic. I don't know what else to say. Where was the mother in all of this? Didn't *someone*, *anyone*, a friend, a relative, somebody, have the time to watch this child? All it would have taken was a couple hours out of someone's day, and now this child is dead. How much is a couple hours worth? Money-wise a pittance, consequences-wise, a child's life.

4. I'd be curious to see the label on the nitrogen container. Somebody, somewhere, screwed up big time. I thought there were strict regulations for how such things have to be labeled, *for good reason*. Maybe it was a glue failure, who knows. What I am amazed at is that apparently none of the nursing home residents realized "Gee, my oxygen is supposed to be *helping* me, but somehow I'm finding it harder to breathe. Maybe something is wrong!". Or if anybody complained, maybe the staff told them to shut up. Who knows. Yikes.

This is a fucked-up world. May I choose a different one, please?
posted by beth at 10:55 AM on December 14, 2000

About 20 years ago, in Portland Oregon, someone at Airco filled an oxygen bottle (clearly labelled) with nitrogen and it got shipped to a hospital. A woman undergoing a fairly routine operation died because of that, and Airco got its ass sued off.

After that, the anesthesia equipment in operating rooms all over the country were modified to include a physical sensor and alarm on the oxygen line, so that if real oxygen wasn't actually present, the alarm would go off.

I have a suspicion that the same thing will now be happening at nursing homes.

What they should REALLY do, though, is make it so that oxygen bottles and nitrogen bottles have incompatlble connectors, so that it's physically impossible to do this kind of thing either when filling or when using them. But that won't happen; too much installed equipment would have to change.

As it is, the bottles are painted different colors, and you're not supposed to use a Nitrogen bottle to carry Oxygen or vice versa; just putting a new sticker on ain't enough. I think that this gas company is also going to get royally sued.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2000

I like the incompatible connectors idea. Agreed that it probably wouldn't be feasible.

How about having the person connecting the tank test it by holding a lit match in front of a tube with a (gentle) gas flow from the tank?

If the match goes out: Nitrogen.

If it explodes or sends out a shooting flame: Oxygen.
posted by beth at 3:25 PM on December 14, 2000

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