possibe exposure to rabies --update: who will take a titer?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Doc, May 16, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am almost certain that I had the pre-exposure rabies vaccine in the early 80s. Public health nurse here has done a lot of legwork for me to try and get the records for that series (which occurred in SC). Unfortunately, they only keep records for three years.

    Since I can't get the records, I thought about getting someone to take a titer to see if I still have enough antibodies. But WHO does that? Does anyone know? I'm in NC and that seems like a solution to me before going through the entire post-exposure vaccine.

    Any ideas, anyone?
     
  2. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Check with the Health Department, they should be able to direct you. I haven't had my titer checked in several years, and don't remember where I went for it. (Where ever my boss sent me, that's where)

    But, I'll bet you a rabbit that if your last vaccine was in the early 80's, you are fresh out of antibodies!

    Meg
     

  3. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    You could contact your State Veterinarian or the nearest vet school-they would know who could check your titers.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I might be out of antibodies, but my colleague told me that if I did take that series, we got a full 1 cc per shot -- 3 ccs of rabies vaccine!! We were given way too much and it's a wonder we didn't have huge reactions. That's why I would like to see a titer. Oh, and our health dept doesn't do that sort of thing --I asked them first.

    GoldenMom -- just sent an email to the state vet asking him about it, and then I read your response. Hope I'm on the right track this time. Thanks.
     
  5. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    When I was in vet school in 1981 I received one dose of the duck embryo vaccine (NASTY STUFF!!!!) and then they did a trial of the new human diploid cell vaccine on our class, 2 doses, nice little shots. Then the day we were to have our titers checked I had the flu and missed out, but the rest of the class had great titers.

    Skip to 1987, when I got exposed to a rabid cat at work..........the health dept suggested I go ahead with the post-exposure propyhlaxis as if I had not been vaccinated, but they drew a titer that first day. When I came back with a nice titer still leftover from 1981, they then switched me to the short protocol. So maybe that's what you want to do. Proceed as if you are not protected, until proven otherwise. Do not mess around.
     
  6. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    Oh I just noticed your "health dept doesn't do that sort of thing". LIKE HE-- they don't!!!! I would raise all sorts of he-- with them until they DO!!! This is a matter of public health, which is why we pay taxes. Demand a titer. Offer to pay, but demand it.
     
  7. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmm. You're right. In fact, I've been given the runaround on this for three days now with the health care system. The public health nurse told me to ask my primary care physician to give me the shots. The health dept will order the shots (but apparently can't give them??), they can be here in 24 hrs and "all I have to do is find a doc who will administer them." I called my p.c.p. and she said, or a nurse said -- doc wouldn't come to the phone -- "it isn't our policy to give rabies shots, go to the ER". I called two other clinics. One explained that they don't give the shots because they don't stock the vaccine, and when I then said that the health dept would order the shots, the nurse said, "sorry, we don't do that anymore, go to the ER." Arrrrrrghhhh!! This is a life and death disease and I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round. Nobody wants to do anything!

    When I called the ER, the man on the phone was so rude that I finally burst into tears just from the frustration of it all. He told me he wasn't going to tell me anything over the phone and that the "charge nurse doesn't come to the phone" that I'd have to come down to the ER". That seems to be the mantra.

    Wouldn't you think health-care providers would WANT to help someone get through this as easy as possible? It's scary enough just thinking about the ordeal. Geez. Not in this state!
     
  8. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had to go through the rabies shots about 6 years ago - it's a nuisance, but not that big a deal.
     
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The titer is just a blood lab test. Your personal physician can order it for you.

    Now the value of the titer is quite questionable. So you show a good count. The basis of that good count is subject to some spirited disagreements as it's based on nothing.
     
  10. insocal

    insocal Well-Known Member

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    doc: If I were in your position I would be raising HOLY HE-- right about now, with that incompetent, uncaring, pathetic excuse for a public health system you appear to have wherever you are! You need to start making some very ugly noises about contacting an attorney, potential wrongful death, etc. Your county health department had better wake up and smell the coffee on this thing. There is absolutely no excuse for this nonsense. Maybe you could complain to the state health dept and your county government, and maybe even your state representative. Do it now, and do it fast. Time's a wasting.
     
  11. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I agree in full!!! I'd park myself in someone's office with a cell phone (to call attorneys, media, etc) and not leave until you had some resolution. No fun being right when you are dead. Good luck and let us know how this turns out. My brother and wife are going through this now too but they've started the shots already.
     
  12. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    How long after exposure do you have to get started on either type of shots? Seems like this is getting pretty drawn out, just don't let them give you the run around for too long.
    I'd be calling the local TV station, tell them your story, name names of those who wouldn't or 'couldn't' help you and see if that doesn't bring some results.

    Good Luck
     
  13. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    After you calm down and everything gets settled I would write a letter to the administrator of that hospital too (and send copies to everybody else that has anything to do with that ER) and tell them about the rudeness and how it affected you when you were already so stressed out....

    I did that one time when a woman was really rude to me at a B'ham hospital when one of my kids were sick----and they fired the woman!

    we'll be praying you get this (about whether you need further rabies shots) resolved quickly!!!!
     
  14. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    If you were exposed to a rabid animal bite the bullet and take the shots. My 5 year old had them last year. If your last vacc was in the 80's there is a good chance they are ineffective anyways. I know with us titers are checked yearly and about every 3 a booster is needed.

    The health department will either give the shots or tell you what hospital has them. They should take care of all the legwork. Try talking to someone higher up.
     
  15. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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