Last week, the I.S. 211 in Canarsie told parents that 7th grader Omar Rivera had died from the antibiotic-resistant staph infection MRSA. Now his mother is suing the city and Kings County Hospital for $25 million over the mistreatment of the 12-year-old.
On October 11, Aileen Rivera took him to a clinic to examine a pus-filled sores on his back. The Flatlands clinic gave him Motrin and a mild antibiotic, but since it didn't clear up, she took him to Kings County Hospital, where, according to WCBS 2, "a doctor thought the child had an allergic reaction to the Motrin, and gave him the over-the-counter medication Benadryl." Omar Rivera died on October 14.
Aileen Rivera said that her son was given two Benadryl in the ER, and her lawyer Paul Weitz of the Cochran firm said, "This child should never have been released. He should have been worked up. There should have been blood work. He should have been kept there for tests." Kings County Hospital, though, said that while Omar Rivera's death was a "deeply tragic event," he was "presented with non MRSA related conditions and treated." Still, pus-filled sores should have been a sign - a classmate told the Post that Rivera's last day of school was October 9, "I told him to go see a doctor. It was bad - pus was coming down his leg."
The Health Department and Department of Education is urging students and faculty to practice good hygiene, like thorough handwashing, to prevent spreading MRSA. However, many students are having a hard time finding soap. Here's more information about MRSA from the Health Department, which proposes required MRSA reporting.