She's on fire, saying docs' lice
A woman who went to Woodhull Hospital's
emergency room to be treated for body lice was twice
prescribed a treatment that seared her face and chest,
she charged in a claim filed late last week.
Ernestine Holloway, 35, of Bushwick said that even
though she informed Woodhull doctors she had severe skin
allergies, they still told her to use a harsh shampoo to
rid her body of lice when she went to the emergency room
"My skin feels like it's really burning," Holloway
said. "I don't cry, because tears have salt in it and it
burns my face."
Holloway and her lawyers contend in a medical
malpractice claim against the city's Health and
Hospitals Corp., filed Friday, that the repeated
negligence of Woodhull's staff left parts of her face
and body raw and blistered.
Holloway showed the Daily News an emergency room bill
indicating a doctor told her to use a shampoo containing
lindane for six hours. However, a pharmacy pamphlet
issued when the prescription was filled said the shampoo
should be used only for three to five minutes. The
pamphlet also warns users of symptoms such as "skin
rash, jerking of the face or trunk, swelling or burning
Lindane is a highly toxic pesticide that is banned in
California and several European countries.
"She told them she had allergies to various things,"
said Charles Liebman, Holloway's lawyer, "and what they
prescribed is a shampoo which a layman could see would
Feeling a tingling sensation on her body, Holloway
said she returned to the Woodhull emergency room Nov. 3
- and was prescribed the lindane-containing shampoo a
Holloway said that two days after applying the
shampoo to her entire body again, her eyes started to
burn as she was out shopping at a clothing store.
"I was telling the girl at the cash register, 'My
face is on fire,'" Holloway said. A Fire Department
ambulance brought her yet again to Woodhull Hospital.
Even then, however, Holloway said, doctors offered her
Holloway finally received treatment for her allergic
reaction to lindane - from a Woodhull dermatologist -
last Friday, Liebman said.
Citing patient confidentiality laws, a Woodhull
spokeswoman declined comment.
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2004 Daily News, L.P.