New mom almost loses baby because of poppy seeds.

The hospital’s invasion of this woman’s privacy is appalling. Privacy is supposed to be protected under HIPAA laws.

What seems the most disturbing is reporting the woman only based on an unauthorized urine test. They ignored everything else. Was the newborn baby under weight? Was it going through withdrawal symptoms? Was the mom going through withdrawal? It’s not difficult for a OBG/GYN to distinguish between a healthy pregnancy and an addict. I understand the need to report addicts and get them in drug counseling. A newborn needs a safe environment. But for gosh sakes use some common sense. :smack:

I hope she gets a very big settlement. Enough to sting and teach these smug, self-rightous bastards a lesson. She went through seven weeks of harassment by that CYF agency. The article mentions two other women had babies taken from them by the CYF.

While the results should have definitely been repeated and confirmed by another method, the hospital didn’t violate HIPAA by informing the child protection agency about a situation of possible child abuse/neglect. They’re obligated to report suspected abuse to authorities. It’s just that normally they have a little more sense about it, or the agency itself looks closer at the facts and makes a more informed judgment. I’m not sure where her consent for the results to be “passed on” comes in - it’s possible some small print in her admitting paperwork covers that stuff. This case is a mess all around, and I feel for the woman. I’m sure this happens relatively often, which is why they really shouldn’t trust a random positive opiate test from a patient who has zero history of abuse.

Since you have to eat a large quantity of poppy seeds for it show up in a urine test for drugs,this story sounds suspicious. If the woman had no history of drug abuse and she immediately demanded another test, then this wouldn’t have occurred.

Not necessarily - if she ate the seeds recently enough, and the test had a low positive cutoff, it’s definitely possible to have a weak positive result. The urine tox screen I’m most familiar with (Bio-Rad TOX) has an opiate cutoff of 2000 ng/mL, which should eliminate the bagel-positives, but it’s possible that other manufacturers are making more sensitive tests.

Whether the positive is legitimate or not should be an intelligent call made by the clinical team.

But is a urine drug scan SOP, or does the clinician require probable cause?

ETA: who pays for the test?

I’m not sure what the rules are for ordering those tests - I only saw things from the laboratory side. I know we most often ran urine drug screens on ER patients who presumably came in disoriented/high/unconscious, but we also ran them on L&D patients from time to time. Whether those patients had a history of addiction or were exhibiting signs of drug use, I couldn’t say. It was definitely *not *routine at my hospital to run a urine drug screen on every delivering mother, although the situation may be different elsewhere.

I always thought drug testing was only done if there were obvious signs of drug use. It’s not difficult to tell the difference in a soccer mom and a druggie. The newborn of a mom that received regular prenatal care and ate properly is much healthier.

The woman in this story is an IT program manager and married. Probably has a nice house in the suburbs. She doesn’t seem like a candidate for drug testing.

Having done OB and delivered babies to both soccer moms and “druggies”, let me say that the difference is rarely so obvious, and there are a lot of impaired soccer moms out there, along with ‘druggies’ who are managing to stay clean and sober with limited resources as they struggle to care for themselves and their kids.

Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. Many people keep up a facade of normality even after they’re deep into the addiction.

I was focusing on the newborn. Birth weight, alertness. Drug babies go through withdrawal after birth. Their urine can be drug tested. They are underweight.

I’d expect a good OB/Gyn giving prenatal care would have a pretty good idea when a patient isn’t eating right or abusing drugs/alcohol. The doctor wouldn’t know about an occasional drink or joint. I think they’d see signs to suspect heavy substance abuse.

I can’t recall how many prenatal visits my wife had. She got to know her Doctor pretty well during her pregnancy. He encouraged her a couple times to eat more. We both gained weight during that time. :wink:

Hard to believe people are still under sway of the stereotypes. The malady progresses in stages but we tend to think of it in it’s latter, full-blown stage.

You’d probably be surprised by how many addicts seem to be habituated to eating poppy seed rolls. Honest.

At any rate addiction knows no socio-economic boundaries.

It’s nice when it’s that clear-cut, but most cases are more nuanced than that. The red flags aren’t always there. Especially when the definition of a ‘drug baby’ is a slippery one to begin with, and not all of them go through significant withdrawal.

It’s because there are so many shades of gray that we end up with mandatory reporting laws, to make sure fewer cases are missed. Some cases are obvious, most are not.

There are some Eastern European breads and pastries that are simply loaded with poppy seeds. Much more than what you’d find on hot dog buns or bagels. Some of those ethnic recipes will definitely result in a false positive on some types of drug tests.

What bothers me most is that the test result was “unconfirmed”. You really do need to confirm a positive before taking action on it. Also, without informing the patient of the test it means the patient doesn’t know to order a follow up confirmation test or mention possible sources of false-positives.

Fifty to be exact.

So, who gets billed for the cost of the test?


I’ve seem poppy seed bagels where you literally could not see the bagel for the poppy seeds.

This must vary by person as I like to eat bagels (w/ or w/o poppy seeds) and I have only failed a single drug test in my entire life. It wasn’t for an opiate and it was many years ago, but I’m routinely screened as I work at refineries.

Nary a problem.

A lot depends on the particular test and its sensitivity. It’s possible that your workplace is using a test that isn’t likely to pick up normal levels of poppyseed consumption.

Let alone something like this, which is totally normal breakfast food in the culture I grew up in. The dark stuff is basically solid poppy seeds, with a bit of milk, some sugar, and a few shreds of lemon zest or some raisins.

Drug screening can be a normal part of the OB order set. In the hospital I worked at it was not routinely ordered, but it wasn’t rare either. Like any other test, the patient is billed for it. I don’t know if the patients were informed of what tests were being done. I think if they asked they would be told. But often, patients don’t ask.

Eva Luna, I had just gotten a link to makowiec to post! Good thing I read to the end before posting. :wink:

Mmmm, I love it. But yeahhhh, I definitely would be worried about drug test results after eating it. Y’all, it’s a rolled bread with poppyseed filling - a “normal” sized rolled bread that calls for an entire POUND of poppy seeds.