Mom Checks WebMD: Why Didn’t Texas Mother Take 14-Year-Old Son With Gunshot Wound To The Hospital?

By Philip Ross on May 9, 2013 5:30 PM EDT

webmd
WebMD is a consumer and physician website that provides health information to more than 80 million unique visitors every month. (Photo: WebMD/Screenshot)

One mother in Houston, Texas, won't be winning any mother-of-the-year awards for her child-rearing capabilities. When her 14-year-old son was shot in the leg, instead of rushing him to the hospital, the mother checked WebMD, looking up gunshot wounds. Seven hours passed before she took him to the emergency room.

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KHOU reports that the shooting occurred around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night and that the incident was caught on an in-house surveillance camera. The video footage shows 26-year-old Pete Jesse Rodriguez, 24, also a resident of the home, pointing a gun at the 14-year-old. He eventually pulled the trigger, hitting the teen in the upper thigh.

Authorities arrested and charged Rodriguez with one count of injury to a child with intent to commit serious bodily injury. His bail is set at over $150,000.

According to KHOU, the mother who neglected to take her injured son to the emergency room could also face charges.

WebMD, which dubs itself the "leading provider of health information services," was founded in 1996 by Jim Clark and Pavan Nigam. The website includes features like a symptom checklist, pharmacy information, drugs information and a place to store personal medical information.

In 2010, the site's revenue increased 22 percent, to $168.5 million, and 86 million people visited the site each month.

Some people believe that sites like WebMD might lead to self-diagnosis as well as wrongful diagnosis. One paper from Columbia University's Columbia News Service reports that doctors are constantly experiencing patients who come to them with preconceived diagnosis that are, 99 percent of the time, wrong.

"The sites, doctors say, are not precise and often create frustration, unnecessary worry and even paranoia," according to the report.

Even WebMD admits it's not an absolute arbiter of medical truth.

"The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment," it says on the site's About WebMD section. "Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the WebMD Site!" (Words bolded, by this writer, for emphasis).

They add: "If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately."

I think most people would agree that a gunshot wound unequivocally constitutes a medical emergency.

Read more from iScience Times:

4-Year-Old Shoots 6-Year-Old: Why Did NJ Toddler Have A Rifle?

Hunter Shoots Deer At Wal-Mart: Arcangelo Bianco Jr. Faces Charges Of Reckless Endangerment

Cleaning Gun Son Killed: Christopher Stanlane Shoots His Son In Back Of Head While Wiping Down His Weapon [VIDEO]

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