17- year-old girl needs liver transplant, CIGNA denies

  1. Life Denied: Nurses, Family of Sick Teen March on Health Insurance Company Thursday - 17- year-old girl needs liver transplant, CIGNA denies...

    The family and the nurses are urgently appealing to the public to call CIGNA at 818-500-6262 and demand they provide the care Nataline needs.

    http://www.calnurses.org/media-cente...s.html?print=t

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  2. 109 Comments

  3. by   FireStarterRN
    Why did they deny her?
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Nataline Sarkisyan, recently treated at UCLA Medical Center with a bone marrow transplant for curing leukemia, developed a rare complication from the chemotherapy and transplant causing many of her organs, including her liver and kidneys to shut down.

    Her doctors say that she needs a transplant but CIGNA has ignored this medical decision and calls the transplant "experimental" as justification for denying the treatment.

    http://www.calnurses.org/

    Her doctors and nurses are frantically working to save her.
    UCLA has an excellent liver transplant program with an ICU just for liver transplant patients.
  5. by   pattymac
    Having major organ complications is not rare in Bone marrow transplant. It is very frequently what ends up killing them. Organ transplant is rarely an option. I am completely sympathetic, but sometimes I'm just not crazy about the way stories are portrayed in the news. Just my own thoughts.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Natalie Sarkisyan, recently treated at UCLA Medical Center with a bone marrow transplant for a recurring leukemia, developed a rare complication from the chemotherapy and transplant which caused many of her organs, including her liver and kidneys to shut down.

    She is now in critical condition in the intensive care unit and multiple doctors have told the family that her only hope of survival is a liver transplant.
    Medically speaking, her doctors say that she is ready for the transplant.

    They also believe that her other organs will recover on their own if the liver is transplanted. CIGNA has ignored this medical decision and calls the transplant "experimental" as justification for denying the treatment.

    http://www.calnurse.org/assets/pdf/n...na_flyer_1.pdf
  7. by   FireStarterRN
    It sounds as if she is a poor candidate considering the fact that she is also battling cancer.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from jlsRN
    It sounds as if she is a poor candidate considering the fact that she is also battling cancer.
    That is my impression as well.

    I'll have to read further.

    steph
  9. by   LiverpoolJane
    Do you use the MARS machine in the US to treat acute liver failure - it has been used in the UK - it is not the perfect solution but it has bought some patients time while their own liver recovers enough?
    Last edit by LiverpoolJane on Dec 20, '07
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    I was at the rally.
    Her mother was telling us that when the doctors wanted to do the transplant she was an exellent candidate. In the week since she has developed pneumonia.
    Then the Moms cell phone rang. It was Cigna telling her they approved the surgery.

    She went into their office to get it in writing when she got a call from the UCLA ICU that Nataline is worse. Mom and family, including the brother who gave bone marrow, rushed to the hospital.

    Now prayers are needed.
    I am crying and praying. Her friends from school and Girl Scouts were there.
    Hundreds came out to support this family.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Dec 20, '07 : Reason: typo
  11. by   sasha1224
    A prime example of who is running the healthcare system. INSURANCE companies. Why didn't the doctor just do what was needed? Because of money. Why didn't the hospital do what was needed? Again, because of money. The front is poor little girl, she needs this, but does anyone who could help her(doc, hospital) step up and just do it? NO. They are waiting on approval from the INSURANCE company to PAY for it. So now, with all the delays, her chances to live decrease. The INSURANCE companies are ok with this as she will not cost them anymore money.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    I agree with Sasha1224. Why didn't the hospital and doctors go ahead and try to save her life? Then deal with the money.
    I would (and have) donated lots of time. And physicians do too. But we can only do this in a clinic, not a hospital.

    Also, just a reminder, unless it is against your beliefs, I think it is good to donate blood or plasma and to be an organ donor.
    …"My daughter survived two bouts of cancer, and against all odds has been stable even with so many of her organs not working, only to now be told that she can not get the only treatment that will save her life because some administrator in some office thinks it is too expensive," said Hilda Sarkisyan. "We needed help in standing up against this insurance provider, and of course it was the nurses who stepped forward."…

    …CIGNA's refusal of Nataline's liver transplant-overruling the urgent appeals of an array of doctors and nurses-is an example of the kind of failures of the new healthcare plan sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fabian Nunez. That plan, which is actively supported by CIGNA, requires every single Californian to purchase insurance products from companies like CIGNA, but does not address the problem of denial of care evident in this situation. …

    http://www.investors.com/breakingnew...nalid=65427979
  13. by   FireStarterRN
    What about availability of a liver? Is this a factor or is it just a denial of coverage?
  14. by   Wsmith16
    This is an all new low. Even if this were "experimental" as CIGNA calls it. Isn't it worth it to possibly save a life. Shouldn't all measures be taken? I wonder if the folks who denied the liver transplant how they would feel if this were their mom, dad, or child? This is SICK, SICK, SICK on the part of CIGNA.

    Nathalie & her parents ( I can't imagine what they have been going through) will be in my prayers. Something has to be done with some of these insurance companies, one day it could be one of us in this situation. I hope I am never or anyone close to me will ever be in this situation.

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