Whoops! Anti-Choice Nurse “Accidentally” Pulls Out Women’s IUDs

As both the Courthouse News Service and RH Reality Check report, an openly anti-choice nurse is currently in the process of being sued, along with the practice she works for.  The plaintiff is a patient who had her IUD “accidentally” removed by the nurse, who then refused to put it back in.

The plaintiff says she went to Rio Rancho to have the strings on her IUD shortened.

The complaint states: “As soon as Defendant Olona began speaking to (the plaintiff), she questioned her about her choice of contraception.

“As Defendant Olona began the procedure, (the plaintiff) felt Olona pull on the strings of the IUD. (The plaintiff) felt a distinct pulling on the strings followed by a sharp pain in her uterus similar to a very strong menstrual cramp.

“As that happened, Defendant Olona stated, ‘Uh oh, I accidentally pulled out your IUD. I gently tugged and out it came.’ She then explained, ‘I cut the string than went back and gently pulled and out it came. It must have not been in properly.’

“Olona then stated, ‘having the IUD come out was a good thing.’ She asked (the plaintiff) if she wanted to hear her ‘take’ on the situation. Without receiving a response, Defendant Olona stated, ‘I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don’t know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them. What the IUD does is take the fertilized egg and pushes it out of the uterus.’

[. . .]

“Defendant Olona told (the plaintiff) that is was better that she did not have the IUD because she could now use a “non-abortion” form of contraception. Defendant Olona suggested the deprovera (depo) [sic] shot or the pill, and made clear that she would not insert a new IUD.”

First of all, there’s no proof that an IUD does in fact have this effect on a fertilized egg — and the argument that it does is rather similar to those made by anti-choicers about emergency contraception and other hormonal birth control also being the same as abortion.  Which is pretty ironic, since the nurse doesn’t seem to have a problem with those kinds of contraception.

Secondly, the nurse admits not only to having pulled out the IUD, but also to having done it repeatedly in the past.

“Defendant Olona stated, ‘Everyone in the office always laughs and tells me I pull these out on purpose because I am against them, but it’s not true, they accidentally come out when I tug.’

Hmm, maybe that’s because you keep improperly tugging on them really, really hard?

Even Planned Parenthood’s website states in big bold letters that you should not tug on the strings.  So I feel like that had to have been taught at some point when the nurse was first being instructed on how to shorten the IUD strings.  I also feel that even if it hadn’t been taught, she would have figured it out by now and stopped doing it if removing the IUD was not her intention.  Not that the practice she works for seems to give a shit either way.  (Oh, that silly Nurse Olona!  Always pulling out patients’ IUDs without their consent, tee-hee!)

Of course, if the nurse is so opposed to IUDs, she’s also perfectly free to find another line of work.  Or, since she works for a practice, to kindly ask another nurse to take the appointment from her.  Or, ludicrous though it may sound, to divorce her personal feelings about IUDs and “abortion” from her job, and to just do it properly without assaulting women.

Personally, like Lauredhel, I’m concerned with why Olona hasn’t been charged criminally as well as civilly.  And the really scary thing is that while the practice she works for has made the unforgivable error of letting this nurse keep her job, under the new HHS rule — which goes into effect tomorrow and protects anti-choice health care workers from employer “discrimination” based on their personally-determined definitons of abortion — a publicly funded clinic just might not be able to fire her.

As RH Reality Check also questions, how bad are things going to get once the regulation is in effect if health care providers are already so severely breaking the rules and violating patients’ rights now?


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64 comments for “Whoops! Anti-Choice Nurse “Accidentally” Pulls Out Women’s IUDs

  1. BruceJ
    January 19, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    This is assault, legally, same as if a doctor does any procedure without consent.

    I’d call the cops.

  2. Nora
    January 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    This is ridiculous. The HHS rule is perhaps the silliest rule EVER! That’d be like myself, a Quaker, deciding that I wanted to join the military for the uniforms and then get bitchy when they told me I’d have to carry a gun. If you have a certain job, you have to do it.

  3. Kristen (The J one)
    January 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Okay, that’s terrifying! We need a list of pro-choice obgyn offices. If someone is going to be so fucking crazy then we need to be able to know before we show up.

  4. Rosanna
    January 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    “Defendant Olona stated, ‘Everyone in the office always laughs and tells me I pull these out on purpose because I am against them, but it’s not true, they accidentally come out when I tug.’

    She should have been fired ASAP after the first incident occurred. Her bosses should be held liable as well, not making jokes around the office about crazy, intrusive behaviors.

  5. shah8
    January 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Call the damned cops. It’s fucking assault disguised as medical practice.

  6. Mo
    January 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Not only is this assault, an IUD should only be removed by an MD. By doing this, she is illegaly doing a medical procedure she is not qualified or licensed to perform. That should be enough to get her fired.

  7. shah8
    January 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I think this should go without saying, but I’m pretty sure intentionally *removing* a UID via sharp tugs is also dangerous to the patient as well. There would be a risk of uterine bleeding and infection (which could cause permanent infertility) which could lead to serious complications requiring a hospital.

    http://www.infoforhealth.org/globalhandbook/book/fph_chapter9/fph_chap9_removing_iud.shtml

  8. January 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    As a man, clearly I have no experience at all with an IUD. I took the link to Planned Parenthood and saw the photos of the IUD devices…and…um…wow. That doesn’t look like something that would just fall out. Some serious tugging would have to have happened before it could just “accidentally come out”.

    The victim is extremely lucky she didn’t suffer physical damage from the nurse’s action. Actually, all of the victims…as apparently this wasn’t her first time assaulting a women whom she politically disagrees with.

    I agree with the above comments. This nurse should at least lose her job, but moreso probably be prosecuted.

  9. chingona
    January 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    This is appalling.

    (Though, I have to disagree about the doctor vs nurse issue. Mine was put in and removed – at my request – by a nurse. The problem is a health care provider who doesn’t respect his or her patient’s ability to make her own decisions.)

  10. January 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Ooops!

    Seriously?

    Ooops?

    What if she killed that woman? My MIL almost bled to death due to an unfortunate combination of unknown ulcer and ibuprofen. how does this nurse know that the next person she does it to won’t have some sort of previously unknown condition and bleed out right there?

  11. Cat Ion
    January 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I think this should go without saying, but I’m pretty sure intentionally *removing* a UID via sharp tugs is also dangerous to the patient as well. There would be a risk of uterine bleeding and infection (which could cause permanent infertility) which could lead to serious complications requiring a hospital.

    Well, that sort of argument would deter rational health care workers from doing such a thing, but we’re dealing with anti-choice nuts here. They really, really hate women. So what if some babykilling slut is harmed during the extraction of her murder weapon, she deserves it, right? The nurse was just saving the lives of future unborn children, so what if the thing harms the patient when it is pulled out?

    *shudder*

    I second Kristin’s idea of having a list of only pro-choice providers. If I ever have the misfortune of being treated by vocally anti-choice nurses and or doctors, I’ll be yelling “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!” Seriously. They are a health hazard.

  12. January 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I really feel that the IUD should be completely rebranded. Between the Dalkon shield and misinformation about how the device works (my comprehensive sex-ed course back in the 90’s told us that it worked by making the uterus attempt to expel it, which its shape prevented from actually happening, and in the process sperm/egg or zygote are expelled as well), there’s just too much fear or misinformation about the product. It was easier for me to be sterilized than it was for me to find a gyn who would put one in my unused uterus.

    Oh, and this “nurse” needs to find other work.

  13. January 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Also, Personal Failure — yanking an IUD would probably damage a woman’s cervix, which has to be dilated in order to have the IUD put in. But my experience is that doctors are extremely reluctant to put an IUD into a woman unless they know that they aren’t going to be sued later on, so they do a pretty thorough exam and history before consenting to installing one. So while it could damage a woman and maybe even cause complications, I think that if she had any pre-existing problem with her cervix or uterus, they would not put the device in her in the first place because it would be too great a risk. Not that shit doesn’t happen, but after all the Dalkon Shield, doctors tend to be pretty cautious about putting IUDs in to just anyone.

  14. Mary
    January 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    MP, the cervix does not need to be completely dilated to insert an IUD. Most are done while a woman is on her period while it’s slightly softer and a little dilated, though that’s no guarantee. It hurts like you wouldn’t believe, but they do get them in there without additional dilation.

  15. January 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    …But this woman isn’t yanking them out when woman is on her period. She yanking them out when the woman has come in to have the trailing end trimmed. And while I’ve never personally inserted one, I’ve played enough Tetris to know that a T-shape needs to be turned to maneuver through a tight aperature (like a cervix). Literally YANKING out the IUD … no adjustment, no working-one-arm-out-first-then-the-other (I dunno, maybe they are just jammed up in there) just seems like a great way to hurt a woman’s cervix.

  16. chingona
    January 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    yanking an IUD would probably damage a woman’s cervix, which has to be dilated in order to have the IUD put in

    I’m not sure about this. When I had mine out, they pretty much just pulled it out. They didn’t “yank” but there wasn’t any sort of fancy procedure involved. There was no dilation. There was no prep. Just get the speculum in place so you have a clear line of sight, grap the tweezers and pull. Quite frankly, I don’t remember them dilating anything to get it in either, but if that’s what you were told, then maybe I’m just not remembering. But it’s definitely a bigger deal going in than coming out.

    All of which is to say, as I wrote above, this is appalling, but it’s appalling because people who go into this line of work, whether as doctors, nurses, or whatever, should respect their patients’ right to bodily autonomy and to their own medical decisions, and if they can’t do that, they need to find another line of work. Even if her health is at no risk whatsoever for the way the nurse pulled it out, it’s still appalling on its face. (And I don’t for a second believe this was an accident. When I was in the Peace Corps, there was a Catholic charity associated with Opus Dei that would send doctors into rural areas to staff free clinics. They would take advantage of the fact that everyone would come for their one chance in who knows how long to see a doctor, and recommend Paps for all the women to get them up in stirrups, and any woman who walked in with an IUD walked out without one.)

  17. Kristen (The J one)
    January 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Mary’s right. Mine was inserted with no dilation during my cycle. Hurt like…[insert multiple expletives here]. Also, pulling on the strings retracts the little arms…if you pull you can remove the iud pretty easily…which is why you can’t use Instead.

    Also, mine wasn’t inserted by an MD but by a nurse…so the evil woman may have had training in insertion and removal [I haven’t read the complaint].

  18. chingona
    January 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I think your problems, Mighty Ponygirl, were probably pretty closely tied with either your uterus being unused, as you said, and/or your doctors being uninformed. I had no trouble whatsoever getting one after having a kid, and it came highly recommended with no reservations by my CNM. I was able to do the Pap and the STD swab at the same appointment as the insertion, and it really wasn’t treated like a big deal. Again, not trying to downplay what happened here, but I agree with you that IUDs need some help in the branding department, so I like to talk up the benefits and not exaggerate the problems. (As for your uterus, when I was researching them, it did seem like the people on message boards who had problems with theirs were women who had never been pregnant, but it irritates me that “you are slightly more likely to experience side effects” turns into “you can’t have this for your own good.” Screw that.)

  19. January 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    chingona — I went to multiple doctors and NONE of them would give me an IUD because I didn’t have kids already. It was easier to get sterilized than to convince a doctor to put an IUD in me. Which, honestly, was fine with me. But they were all four-square agin’ putting an IUD in my minty-fresh uterus and my non-history of pregnancy was their reason.

    I didn’t know that yanking on the threads collapsed the arms of the IUD. And I was unclear about my thinking surrounding the word “damage” — I was thinking of something along the lines of a bruise or knick — not “I tugged on the IUD and her cervix came out in my hand.”

  20. Kristen (The J one)
    January 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Chingona & Mightypony

    Also, if you haven’t been pregnant your uterus may not be large enough to take an IUD. I was able to get one even though I haven’t been pregnant, but they did have to measure [which fucking hurts] and it was only barely able to fit.

    My nurse said before she measured that there was a less than 25% chance that my uterus would be big enough…but I haven’t seen any other stats on it.

  21. January 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    This patient needs to file sexual assault charges. She should also be able to work on getting this “nurse’s” license revoked. Whether it’s incompetence or malpractice she needs to bo out of the field immediately.

  22. shah8
    January 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Sip some tea, comment, come back later and find out how what you said was wrong…

    What I love about Feministe.

    Reading chingona‘s post I think alot of this is about power again…Poor people don’t have rights to bodily autonomy like other people. If you have to use a charity clinic, well, you’re at risk for what they believe, whether this stuff is legal or not.

  23. Katherine Kramer
    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    As a pro-choice ob/gyn, I’ve placed and removed many IUD’s. I’ve had the experience where an IUD was almost out (and hence offering little protection) and had to be removed so that another one could be placed a few days later. In this situation a gentle traction on the string is enough to pull it out. It is possible that this was the case with this nurse. I knew someone in another hospital who was in a residency program and, because he was so antiabortion was falsely accused of removing an IUD on purpose. He was made to leave the program. Although its better that he isn’t in obgyn, I don’t think he was treated justly as he was presumed guilty despite overwhelming evidence that the patient wanted the iud out.

  24. chingona
    January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Mighty Ponygirl, I believe you. I wasn’t trying to say what happened to you didn’t happen to you. I just think a lot of doctors read one thing once and then base their decisions on that, versus keeping up on the research and knowing what the factors might be in deciding on an IUD if you’ve never had kids. I don’t think it’s as simple as “can’t do it,” but a lot of doctors act like it is. (Though, obviously, in your case, it’s no longer an issue.)

    And I suspect you could knick it even if you didn’t “yank.” Mine didn’t hurt at all when they took it out, but there was a little spotting and I was a little, uh, sensitive for a few days. /TMI If the nurse took it out in such a way to actually cause injury, she’s an extra special kind of evil, but my point is that I think it’s pretty easy to get them out without causing injury, and it’s still really bad to do that to someone just to suit your own self-righteousness. I would hope this calls into question her license.

  25. January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    As a pro-choice ob/gyn, I’ve placed and removed many IUD’s. I’ve had the experience where an IUD was almost out (and hence offering little protection) and had to be removed so that another one could be placed a few days later. In this situation a gentle traction on the string is enough to pull it out. It is possible that this was the case with this nurse.

    Yeah, it’s “possible” — if it wasn’t the case that the woman admitted to having it “happen” several times in the past, and if she had actually taken a look before tugging (which she doesn’t say she did), and if she hadn’t given an anti-choice lecture to the woman after doing it and before telling her that she wouldn’t put a new one in.

  26. January 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I think there is a difference between something slipping out because it was already almost out and

    (The plaintiff) felt a distinct pulling on the strings followed by a sharp pain in her uterus similar to a very strong menstrual cramp.

    That too me doesn’t say “oops, tricky little thing popped out.”

  27. JustPassingThrough
    January 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    When I checked Rio Rancho’s website it didn’t list a “Sylvia Olona” (or, indeed, anyone with a similar name) amongst their certified nurse practitioners. I thought maybe the news story made them take her name down, but it seems the site hasn’t been modified since February of ’08. That struck me as odd so I ran the name through a professional listings search and it seems that a “Sylvia Olona” is registered in a professional directory as an “administrative assistant” at the “Rio Rancho Family Health Center.” On a lark I put the name “Sylvia Olona” into the New Mexico Board of Nursing’s license look-up search and found that the only licensee by that name had let their license expire in 1976.

  28. January 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    no worries, chingona — no hackles were raised in the posting of these comments.

  29. Kyra
    January 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    My GOD, what an awful, awful person!

    Full agreement that she should have been fired at the first incident—just listen to her! She is incompetent, unprofessional, and clearly hostile to the goals for which these women are visiting the gynocologist in the first place. AND she refuses to undo the damage she did?

    I would’ve asked her if some abortion provider was paying her to drum up business for them, sabotaging people’s birth control like that.

  30. January 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Wow this kind of thing makes me wonder how in the hell these people ever graduated from any kind of a nursing program. Just to clear things up about the IUD, things have changed a lot since the old days of the first IUD’s. Though are generally a better choice for women who have already had children, they do work for non baby havers. Today there are two main types, the copper and the hormonal IUD. They are both different from the original IUD that was often feared as a big wick for infection into the uterus.

    I am a nursing student and used to work as a birth control/ breastfeeding educator in a community health center where you’d be suprised how many women came in when they got off the toilet to find their IUD had fallen out, no jokes.

    Regardless, I can only hope nurses of the future retain what they are taught about ethics in healthcare.

  31. January 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    For the record, I called the clinic to see why Olona still had a job. I got the administrator’s voicemail. My message was something like, “I totally respect your mission to provide family planning services, but I wonder why you’re keeping someone on who intentionally does harm to patients and interferes with their freedom of reproductive choice.” I would hesitate to recommend LOTS of people do this, because I know it’s scary to work in a family planning clinic what with all the crazies and I don’t want anyone to get harassed or hurt, but I honestly think people who are concerned might try mailing them a polite letter to let them know this is not acceptable behavior from a medical practitioner under any circumstances.

  32. Tiki
    January 19, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Never mind that once the frigging thing is out, it can’t be re-inserted. There’s now a risk of infection, and the little T-arms can’t be un-bent. And that if a woman’s insurance provider doesn’t cover the IUD, she’s out between $150 and $300 out-of-pocket thanks to a shenanigan like this. Which doesn’t even come close to the violation and outrage of the whole thing.

    As an aside, IUD’s are frickin’ cool, and I’m looking forward to getting another one later this year. Some women can have them inserted easily, and some women need to be slightly dilated by the care provider to do it, which sucks.

  33. Kristen (The J one)
    January 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Tiki…

    Worse than that if it was a mirena (which I adore)….my insurance didn’t cover mine…it was $900 just for the IUD. [Insurance also refused to cover insertion, but I don’t remember how much that cost.]

  34. January 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Yeah, it’s “possible” — if it wasn’t the case that the woman admitted to having it “happen” several times in the past, and if she had actually taken a look before tugging (which she doesn’t say she did), and if she hadn’t given an anti-choice lecture to the woman after doing it and before telling her that she wouldn’t put a new one in.

    Yeah, what it sounds like is she’s making this all out to be an oops-accident-teehee, so that she can hide behind “I can’t legally be forced to do something I don’t believe in, like reinsert the IUD!”.  Plausible deniability, or so I’m told.

  35. ks
    January 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    That is plain messed up. Woman should definitely have her license revoked, assuming she even has one at all (as per the comment above about checking).

    And Kristen, I definitely hear you about the cost of the Mirena. I want one so very, very badly, but my insurance doesn’t cover it either. They’ll cover a monthly pill prescription, which has to cost them at least $50/month, as I’m on one of the newer ones and I only pay $6/month, but they won’t pay a one time up front cost of $700 (what the doc told me the Mirena costs, not counting the insertion cost) that will be good for five years. Eventually, if the car stops breaking down and the kids stop needing new stuff just as I’ve gotten together enough money, I’ll be able to spring for one, but until then, I’m still on the pill.

  36. NancyP
    January 19, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    If JustPassingThrough is correct, and this person Olona doesn’t have a current nurse’s license, she and the doctors who employ her ought to be pursued for her impersonating a nurse. This might represent a reprimand to a doctor’s license if the doctor was unaware of Olona’s impersonation, and suspension if the doctor knew what was going on. If I were investigating, I’d also want to find out about the billing situation, as use of non-licensed individuals to perform procedures constitutes fraud. Olona might be pursuable on a criminal charge of impersonating a nurse. I’d say that a lawsuit ought to succeed here.

  37. chingona
    January 19, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    @ks … I think they figure that if you lose your insurance tomorrow, they won’t have to keep paying for your pills, but if you get the IUD and then lose your insurance, somehow you’ll have gamed the system to get something you don’t deserve. My co-pay with the pill was really high – $30/month – so I sucked it up and put it on the credit card and figured it would pay for itself in about a year and a half.

  38. Tiki
    January 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Kristen (The J one) and k,

    mine was copper, so I hadn’t realised the Mirena was that much pricier. Yikes. On the plus side, being Canadian I’m not billed directly for insertion. I was billed for the device only, which was about $180. If I kept it ten years though, it works out to about $1.50 a month during that time. A big plus for latex-allergic, hormone-disliking me, I thought. At $700 or $900 for 5 years, I’m not sure one would come out ahead financially versus other methods, if that were an overriding concern.

    Is it possible to restrict this person to administrative or non-patient-interacting roles as a result of the civil action? Or can she wear a big sign on her forehead with some sort of warning?

  39. denelian
    January 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    don’t get me wrong – this woman was practising evil. my mom is an OB/Gyn Nurse Practisioner, so i grew up hearing everything about every contraceptive practice. this woman should be JAILED for taking out the IUD.
    but i think i saw somewhere that she is a Physician’s Assistant, which if she is, is why she isn’t showing a nurse’s liscence. because she has a different liscence.
    but to be honest i don’t know how to check and i have homework to do so i don’t want to spend time tryin to figure it out…

  40. Kristen (The J one)
    January 19, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    ks,

    The price has probably dropped since I got mine. I’m extremely fortunately that I could afford it…although the price gave me pause.

    You know the more we talk about this, the more I think we need to talk about this issue more. While we’re looking at providing universal health care and federal regulation of health care coverage (one of Obama’s talking points) maybe we need to be harassing Congress about forcing insurance companies to cover all forms of contraceptives.

    Tiki,

    I hate menstruating, so for me it sounded like the most awesome thing ever. I’d give my husband’s small toe to never menstruate again! =P

  41. Sarah
    January 20, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I didn’t read all the comments, so someone probably said this, but the rule says that someone can’t be fired based on their views, not that they can’t be fired because they aren’t doing their job correctly. It’s find to not be pro-choice, but it shouldn’t affect one’s ability to perform the tasks required of them correctly.

  42. January 20, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Well, there may have been an error not only on Courthouse News and RH Reality Check but also the court documents, because in all of these locations Olona is listed as an NP.

    However, if you go to the NM Medical Board, you will find a current listing for Sylvia Olona as a PA. However, her business address is listed at “Penitentiary of New Mexico”.

    Perhaps the medical board switched it preemptively?

  43. SA
    January 20, 2009 at 6:22 am

    “And the really scary thing is that while the practice she works for has made the unforgivable error of letting this nurse keep her job, under the new HHS rule — which goes into effect tomorrow and protects anti-choice health care workers from employer “discrimination” based on their personally-determined definitons of abortion — a publicly funded clinic just might not be able to fire her.”

    Assaulting people is still illegal. They should be able to fire her.

  44. January 20, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I didn’t read all the comments, so someone probably said this, but the rule says that someone can’t be fired based on their views, not that they can’t be fired because they aren’t doing their job correctly. It’s find to not be pro-choice, but it shouldn’t affect one’s ability to perform the tasks required of them correctly.

    That’s not true. If your views say that you can’t do the job in question, you can’t be fired for that reason. So if an anti-choice nurse refuses to participate in an abortion procedure, she couldn’t be legally fired. If she refused to hand out prescription birth control in an appointment with a patient (because she believes it causes an abortion), even though that would be considered part of the job, she couldn’t be fired.

    Assaulting people is still illegal. They should be able to fire her.

    This much we can hope is true. I think more than anything, there’s the question of whether providers would feel comfortable firing her or be too afraid to put their very existence (funding) at risk.

  45. JustPassingThrough
    January 20, 2009 at 10:24 am

    denelian: most of the stories I’ve read have described her as a nurse practitioner, which would be under the same licensing board as a standard nurse. Taking your advice I looked up the licensing information for “Sylvia Olona” on file with the New Mexico Medical Board and did find someone by that name practicing in New Mexico with a physician’s assistant license that would have become active in 1978 (which would be just a few years after the nurse license expired). Terrifyingly, this license lists the “Penitentiary of New Mexico” as the place of business for “Sylvia Olona,” located about 50 or so miles from the Rio Rancho clinic.

  46. January 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I don’t really see how this kind of “accident” could be OK under the conscience rules. She told the patient she was going to do one thing and then did another – seems like plain old fraud/malpractice to me.

  47. micheyd
    January 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    The statement is really telling – “they accidentally come out when I tug.” She was just trying to cover her ass against accusations of imposing her beliefs on patients, but she then basically admitted she’s totally, serially incompetent at her job. I hope she’s sued into oblivion.

  48. January 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    OK, even if a judge were to take this nurse at her word that her pulling the IUDs out was accidental, wouldn’t repeated incidents of that nature count as negligence? Since that wasn’t supposed to happen and all. Can’t medical people lose their licenses for negligance, especially if there are multiple cases of it?

  49. NM Cowgal
    January 21, 2009 at 3:09 am

    I live in the usually wonderfully liberated Land of Enchantment and not far from Rio Rancho (which is a very crowded and booming residential area on the West Mesa near Albuquerque). A male colleague showed me this story on his Blackberry and we were both horrified. THIS IS ASSAULT! I was so angry when I saw the story I could feel my face heat up. I wanted to scream! I cannot even imagine the discomfort the victim experienced…both physical and mental. We need to fight for our rights…and this incident is a prime example that we MUST keep it up. Shame on this so-called “medical professional” and any organization that would support that warped sense of priority. Last time I checked, this was still a free country and not a theocracy. I wish her much success in her lawsuit!

  50. Sarah B
    January 21, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Katherine Kramer, let me get this straight, this guy shouldn’t be an OB/GYN because he is pro-life? Um, that’s a little more than unfair. Since you believe the accusation was false then why should his career (after at least 8 years of school) be ruined? Chances are that when the person finished residency he would stay as far away from abortion procedures as possible. I am pro-life (I know odd for this board) but that doesn’t mean I can’t do my job ethically. I simply don’t work in any clinics that perform abortions and when a patient wants one I refer them to someone who does…….isn’t that how this is supposed to work? Not all pro-life healthcare providers are extreme right wing individuals who don’t care about women. I think a little respect in both directions would be helpful.

  51. Sarah B
    January 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Just for the record, this woman should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  52. flightless
    January 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    EVIL! I’ve had an IUD removed; it hurt really a lot, and I nearly fainted afterward. This nurse is a violent criminal.

  53. Dogtanian
    January 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    What a wicked women!

    If it was a Mirena device they certainly don’t fall out by themselves and it is absolutely excruciating. A standard IUD is slightly less painful, but it’s still not pleasant. Plus the fact she will have to have had it reinserted which is always painful.

    This “nurse” should be barred from practice and jailed for assault.

    My uterus is wincing now.

  54. January 22, 2009 at 2:55 am

    According to NARAL (http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/in_your_state/who-decides/state-profiles/new-mexico.html?templateName=lawdetails&issueID=14&ssumID=2737), New Mexico law states that a health care provider can refuse to treat a patient based on moral objections provided that he or she informs the patient of this decision promptly and attempts to get assistance from someone willing to treat the patient. Assuming this is the case, this nurse would not be covered by a conscience rule since she pulled out the IUD before objecting.

    Sorry for the long url. For some reason, I was having trouble making a link.

  55. Elizabeth
    January 22, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I removed my own IUD in the early 1970s because having hideous cramping with my period. I too, tugged “gently” and out it came. Okay – so that was good, because the pain did stop with the IUD out. Two years later, however, I lost a planned pregnancy due to “incompetent cervix” and eventually had to have surgical repair of my cervix to keep from losing a later pregnancy. I was told by my OB that as the cervix has to be dilated to put the IUD device IN, so should it be dilated to take an IUD device OUT and my “incompetent cervix” was self-induced. At least I didn’t have to blame someone else, unlike the New Mexico woman.

  56. January 22, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Elizabeth, I’m really sorry that your doctor tried to blame you for your pregnancy problems. Routine IUD removal does not require dilation or any other special prep at all. It is done just as you did it – by gentle, sustained traction (preferably during a period, but it can be done at other times). It is a much quicker and simpler procedure than IUD insertion, taking only a few seconds once the speculum is in place. It really requires no special skill at all, except to stop if it’s very painful or not happening readily, which I’m assuming you would have done.

    The only time dilation is needed is if there has been a complication such as string retraction, uterine wall embedding or perforation, or if the strings have been cut right off (sometimes deliberately done for purposes such as concealing contraception).

  57. January 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Whoa. My sincere apologies to anyone who saw Killachristian Forcristssake’s comment, and especially anyone who may have been triggered by it, before I got to it and deleted it.

    Suggesting that rape or other sexual violence is an appropriate punishment for anything is not allowed on this blog.

  58. Ashleigh
    January 23, 2009 at 12:58 am

    I got a mirena without having kids, although at a subsequent ER visit the nurse just assumed I had some, and without being measured. And the doctor got it out with just a speculum and her fingers pulling the string. The speculum hurt way more than the removal.

    Alas, my previously pretty-good gynecologist handled everything non-medical at that visit extremely poorly and I will never go back to her. But that’s not the IUD’s fault.

  59. melrn
    February 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I am a nurse and can attest to the fact that medical devices are pulled out accidentally and on purpose. The act should be reported, if the person really feels she was violated, to both the board of nursing and the police. At that time the bashing should stop……….innocent until proven guilty….right? Give the nurse a chance to tell her side of the story. And…………..pro-life and anti-choice are 2 totally different catagories. I am prolife—meaning i believe we have a choice until the egg is fertilized. I have never been put in a position to have to impose my beliefs on any patient…….ever…..by my choice.

  60. Stephanie
    March 26, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Omg >_< That’s horrible. Not only is that assault, but IUDs are expensive.

  61. alicia
    August 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    i just came from my ob doc. during a fairly routine appointment that felt a little more uncomfortable than usually, she “accidentally” removed my IUD stating that it must have “shifted” and that is why it came out so easily. the whole thing seemed odd.

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