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Kaiser Permanente and Worker's Compensation
This Section of the Kaiser Papers is for the Employees of Kaiser and The Permanente
Astraea Kelly - Kaiser Permanente Employee Victim of SARS
In the Spring of 2003, Astraea Kelly a Respiratory Therapist with Kaiser Permanente came down with a virus syndrome with a fever of unknown etiology and neurological symptoms that follow a classical presentation of SARS that seems to be also affecting several other patients and employees at the Kaiser Permanente Vallejo facility. Her patients had the same symptom presentations and while she was around no one else had those symptoms.
Twelve patients in her unit died from this SARS like disease between May 2 and May 6, 2003. Astraea has been off of work since May 9, 2003 because of this illness.
Her symptoms began with 3 days of diarrhea, a temperature running between 100 to 101 degrees, heaviness in the chest, wheezing, and she almost had to undergo oxygen therapy. [She’s still recovering in July 2003.] What troubled her was the fact that so many patients in her unit presented the exact same pattern of symptoms. According to Astraea, 20 patients died in a period of one month, including those 12 who died in that period of just 4 days, and all from the same pattern of illness as was reported by By Carl F. Worden -Sierra Times.com - links formerly at:http://www.sierratimes.com/03/05/20/ar_sara_worden.htm
In June of this year severe cases of pnuemonia were still coming in and Kaiser staff had to relocate the patients to other facilities. In particular, several patients were relocated to Kaiser Permanente Sacramento. Sacramento is a long way from Vallejo by my map and if isolation was the purpose of this transfer it appears that there are other Kaiser Permanente facilities in more rural areas that could have handled the containment. In short I have no idea why these people were sent to another metropolitan area for medical care.
Of the eight Kaiser employees that were put on sick leave because of this illness only two have recovered and returned to work as of July 30,2003.
"I believe MOST of this symptom contamination or a great
it could have been minimized by proper staff
"We may have had mutations or other problems. It has
cost many patients
their health and staff members have had very serious
Many facilities made mistakes, but admitting this and taking appropriate care of the patients and the staff after exposures to some very serious virus syndrome, that may be expensive to Kaiser, will be necessary. Kaiser made the isolation or non isolation decisions that it did, and it needs to provide the best care for our lives. If they are concerned about "costs", [then they should] buy the proper masks and eye goggles for the staff and do it right. Then they won't have so many costs." said Astraea.
Right now Astraea has requested that other patients that have had this illness this year at Kaiser Permanente contact her directly.
Astraea Kelly can be reached at: email@example.com
Update as of August 6, 2003 - All disciplinary charges
have been dropped. Attempting to warn people of a
potentially infectious disease is not cause for displinary action or
violation of any policies, the other union members might want to know
"What we are waiting for now is the determination of
comp will rule that I am a workers comp case or not.
I am going to request another month off with my
physician to get my
physical therapy consult and build my leg muscle mass
back for an additional month before attempting another
It will give me time to get some of these other symptoms
My trust is ruined in the management stand that we saw
of illness. Even the physicians aren't saying that
to their patients. They are saying "we are having a
pneumonia and flu season, it could be something else".
I have been told the same thing "this is NOT A NORMAL VIRUS" and I hear the doctors telling the other patients the same things every time I go for my outpatient visits or have to go to Urgent Care for screening.
So we have some DRASTIC inconsistencies here then on
what the state
agencies can see in the charts, don't we?
As brutal of a procedure and as punishing to the injured
this whole 90 days has been to me, I will never go through it again
P.S. I ran into another employee today after
coming out of an
attorney consult (my case is very strong advisement) and
How many others are doing this? But management
can see no unusual
patterns and neither can the state agencies, or so Kaiser says.
For further information on SARS go to http://cdc.gov