Patient Story

Your Name: Brittney Faust 

Patient's Name/Relationship: Same 

City/State: Palm City, FL

When did event occur (what year)? 2018

Where did event occur? Acute Care General Hospital

What type of medical harm did you experience or witness? Medication Error

Please describe what happened. I was bitten by a bat. I was able to capture it and took it to the local Wildlife Center where a form was filled out regarding the animal. Despite info being provided on the intake form regarding the bite, the bat was let go by the local Wildlife Center. It should have been killed and tested for rabies. Because the condition of the bat was unknown, I had to undergo rabies vaccination, a series of 4 doses, which were administered by the ER at Martin Memorial Hospital In Stuart Fl. The ER failed to read the manufacturers instructions, not once but on 3 subsequent inoculations all of which were administered by different medical staff. In one instance a shot incorrectly placed in my gluteal muscle which is one of the main areas where you should NOT get the vaccine since there is too much fatty tissue and it can result in the vaccine being rendered ineffective. As a result, I had to start the series over again, and again, there were protocol errors. I have become extremely ill, with fever and chills, blurred vision, slurred speech, burning pain at the injection sites, nausea, narcolepsy and frequent falling due to muscle weakness and dizziness. In infectious disease specialist was called in as well as the CDC and they all decided i Just needed more shots, which enhanced my adverse reaction to the vaccine. To date I have been given 15 shots, 2 of which were the initial introduction of weakened rabies virus into my system. My body has no easy way to get rid of the excess vaccine and I have been told I have been overdosed. I have no idea if antibodies have been forming as expected or not because the protocol was not followed. Neither the hospital, the Dept of Health, nor the CDC have any idea if the shots were effective and no one can guarantee I do not have an active rabies strain in my body, likely due to their incompetence. A titer to test for antibodies should have been done at 14 days, and it was only done this week, almost a month later. I am more sick than I have ever been in my life, I cannot shake this, I have been sleeping most of the time for the past 3 weeks. I have lost 22 lbs. I have no strength and my muscle tone is suffering. I called the vaccine manufacturer, Novartis, and they have no idea how to deal with this. There is no protocol to deal with an overdose of this vaccine. Their comment "we just make it, we don't administer it". The Department of Health advised that if I was not deathly ill and hospitalized they wouldn't get involved. There has been confirmed rabies in bats within a 50 mile radius of my home. Do I have rabies? Will I develop rabies at some time in the future? No one seems to know. 

What was the outcome of the medical harm issue? Serious or life-threatening injury