A Baltimore school nurse implanted a long-term contraceptive into a student’s arm without informing the teen’s guardian, the girl’s mother says.
Nicole Lambert learned her daughter had been given a birth control implant after sending her to get examined by a pediatrician, ABC affiliate WMAR reported.
The 16-year-old girl had complained of headaches and pain in her arm. Lambert was devastated to learn the root cause of her symptoms.
“I instantly started crying because just to hear that your child, anything could happen to your child and you didn’t even know what’s going on, it’s a scary feeling,” she told WMAR in an interview that aired Monday.
Lambert said the pediatrician told her that the contraceptive, Nexplanon, prevented conception for three years and had been improperly implanted.
Photos obtained by WMAR show the contraceptive rod, which according to Nexplanon’s website should be inserted in the upper arm, was implanted near the back of Lambert’s daughter’s arm.
The girl’s physician, concerned about possible complications, recommended the removal of the contraceptive.
“I actually went to the school. I was furious. I was mad, so I went to the school and the nurse told me, ‘I don’t have to talk to you about absolutely nothing.’ I’m like that is my child, I take care of this child, you can talk to me about my child, and they put me out of the school,” said Lambert.
Her daughter has since had the implant taken out.
While Lambert told WMAR she wasn’t “opposed to preventing teen pregnancies,” she said she was uncomfortable with school nurses performing a procedure as invasive as a birth control implant – especially without obtaining her permission.
“They call me for Tylenol, but they don’t call me about birth control,” said Lambert. “You gave my daughter this insertion so she might be suffering from that, but do they even look at that?”
Under Article 20-102 of the Maryland Annotated Code, minors are allowed to receive contraceptive services without parental knowledge or consent.
WMAR’s questions to the school regarding the incident were redirected to the Baltimore City Health Department, which declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
“Other kids out here could be going through the same thing and their parents don’t know about it. And I just think these kids, if they have it incorrectly or whatever it is, they should be checked because anything could happen to these kids,” said Lambert.
- Nicole Lambert.: Screen grab