A Toronto gynecology doctor says he was too younger to understand how the HPV virus spread after he treated an 18-year-old with the disease.
Dr. Andre Pimentel, who has worked in Toronto for 16 years, says the girl had multiple pelvic fractures and needed surgery.
Pimentels first noticed signs of the virus two months after her daughter’s initial diagnosis and took her to the emergency room.
She was sent to a Toronto hospital, where she was diagnosed with HPV16 and given a vaccine.
“It took a while to understand the full scope of the problem,” said Pimentela, who is now in his third year as a doctor in Toronto.
“I think I had no idea what was going on.”
He said he didn’t fully understand how HPV could be transmitted in children, saying he was also unsure if it was sexually transmitted.
He said his initial reaction was to “take her out” but quickly realized he was not doing her any favours.
“We were both scared,” he said.
“She didn’t know how to do this or that.”
Pimenteli said he has since learned the HPV vaccine can help prevent the spread of HPV to others, though it has not been tested for safety in young children.
“My understanding was that it would be safer if she was given the vaccine at an early age, but it turned out that was not the case.”
Piments family is now suing Pimentelin and his medical practices, alleging he didn.
Piments lawsuit says he did not inform his patient’s parents, did not take the girl to the hospital and didn’t do her any favors.
The lawsuit is still before the courts.
The Canadian HPV Vaccine Association says there is no evidence that the HPV vaccines in general have prevented cervical cancers, which is why Pimentelleis is asking for more than $1 million.
“The HPV vaccine has been shown to protect against a wide range of cancers,” said spokeswoman Sara Mankins.
“But we are hopeful that this case will highlight how important it is to make sure that young people who are infected are not exposed to any other risk factors, including the HPV types in our vaccines.”