DENVER (CBS4) – Ebony Cole has a beautiful family. Her 5-year-old son Jayden is starting kindergarten, and Aaliyah is just 7 months old. She and her husband decided they were done having children for a while, so Cole went on birth control. She decided to get a hormone implant in her arm called Nexplanon.
“My sisters tried it. It was successful for the both of them, so I thought maybe it would work for me too,” Cole told CBS4.
In January Cole went to Kaiser Permanente to get the Nexplanon implant.
“Then she said, ‘I want you to feel it to see if it’s there … to confirm that it’s there.’ And I felt it, it was there.” Cole explained.
She also got a sticker confirming that the implant was put in her arm on Jan. 12 and would last until January 2018. But everything changed for Cole in April.
“I went to the ER and they said, ‘You’re about 5 weeks pregnant.’ I said, ‘How? This doesn’t make sense. I have this thing in my arm,’ ” Cole recounted.
She is now 14-weeks pregnant and still has no answers. She says that Kaiser Permanente doctors tried to locate the implant, but couldn’t find it.
“They looked around in there with the ultrasound for a little while, then they used their fingers just to feel the area where they put it in at. They couldn’t find it … they couldn’t find it … they couldn’t find it,” Cole said.
Next she says that they did a blood test and found no trace of the progestin hormone in her system. That’s when Kaiser Permanente doctors told her that the implant is not in her arm.
LINK: Nexplanon Website
Nexplanon is made by Merck. On the front page of its website, Merck recommends that patients and caregivers feel for the implant after it’s inserted. The website goes on to say that “The implant may not be in the patients’ arm at all due to failed insertion.” CBS4 asked Merck for further explanation of “failed insertion” and how often that happens, and got no reply.
“This makes no sense. I watched you put it in my arm. I felt it after you got done putting it in my arm. I had it wrapped up, there were bandages around the bandage she put on there,” Cole said.
When CBS4 asked Kaiser Permanente what happened, CBS4 got a statement saying, “The care and safety of our patients is our highest priority. Any concern raised involving a patient’s care is taken seriously and will be fully investigated.”
“I personally believe that it’s still there,” Cole said.
Cole thinks the implant is still in her arm. She worries that it could harm her or her unborn baby.
Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.