Teenagers who want to get birth control, but may not be comfortable enough to tell their parents, will always find a way to get it. The good news is that they're being safe and smart, the bad news is if they're not careful they could end up in an unsafe situation.
Nicole Lambert, mom to a 16-year-old daughter in Baltimore, Maryland, had no idea her daughter wanted to see a doctor about birth control options. Then, after taking her daughter to the pediatrician when she was complaining of headaches and arm pain, Nicole found out that not only did her daughter have a birth control implant in her arm, but that her school nurse gave it to her.
The pediatrician told Nicole that the device was improperly implanted in her daughter's arm, which was what was causing this reaction in her daughter. Typically, these implants are placed under the skin in the upper inner arm, but for some reason, her daughter's was placed on the outside of the arm (where you would get a flu shot). The pediatrician recommended removing the implant right away to avoid further complications for the teenager.
Nicole was understandably furious with the school for administering the implant without her consent in the first place, but especially for botching the procedure and putting her daughter at risk. When she confronted the school nurse, Nicole was told that they were not required to inform parents and removed her from the school.
According to a local news station in Baltimore, there is a 50-year-old law that allows minors to receive contraceptives confidentially, which is why the nurse never informed the teenager's mom.
The contraception's manufacturer, Merck, said that any healthcare professional that is administering the implant should have training on how to properly perform the procedure. They specifically said that it "requires training" to even purchase the product.
Now, Nicole is pressing charges against the school and city for the whole situation (we don't blame her!). According to her attorney, David Ledyard, Nicole wasn't "given the choice to pick the medical provider where her daughter would feel comfortable going and receiving these services, who she knew did a comprehensive medical exam, who she knew knew her medical history".
More than anything, Nicole hopes her daughter's experience brings attention to the problem so that no other kids go through what her daughter did. She wants parents to "check" their children because they could easily have a similar situation and the parents may have no idea.
Thankfully, Nicole's daughter is safe and healthy now, and hopefully that's the case for other students in Baltimore as well.