Parents upset after ER nurse tells them to go to pharmacy for daughter's allergic reaction to nuts


A Terrebonne couple has filed a complaint with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and the Quebec Order of Nurses after they were told to go to the pharmacy when they brought in their six-year-old daughter who was having an allergic reaction to something she ate.

Rosie Carpetti and her family were having supper at her parents' place in Montreal two weeks ago.

Carpetti said her daughter Serena - who'd never shown any signs of allergies before -  had just eaten a walnut when the six-year-old's lips started swelling up. Carpetti said Serena had trouble swallowing, started shaking and felt like vomiting.

"I was completely terrified because I didn't know what was happening to her," said Carpetti in an interview with CJAD 800.

The ambulance brought the little girl to Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital.

Carpetti said they didn't expect the behaviour of the ER nurse.

"Basically she told me that we should just go to the pharmacy right outside the door and buy some Benadryl," said Carpetti.

"She didn't even tell me what it was, she didn't even check my daughter, she didn't check inside her throat, she didn't check absolutely anything. She just looked like I was bothering her."

Carpetti said it was upsetting.

"She basically made me feel like I was the worst mother ever for calling 911," she said.


Rosie Carpetti

Carpetti said they bought the Benadryl which helped her daughter who is now doing fine.

Carpetti said they consulted a specialist who gave them an EpiPen but also some advice - that Benadryl may not always be the best option for children and that it masks the symptoms of the allergiesm, which made the mother of two even more worried.

The health authority for the hospital told CJAD 800 they can't comment on such confidential cases but that they do look into all complaints.

"It wasn't a cold, it wasn't the flu, it was a nut allergy so I think their procedure on how things work especially when (patients) go in by ambulance really needs to change," said Carpetti.

"Luckily we got out of this ok but someone else might not."