Latest Posts


One of many ambulance transfers included a 80-ish year old nursing home patient who was sent by the night staff at the nursing home because they were too busy he had mental status changes. When the patient arrived, he seemed OK to me. Awake, alert, smiling. Held a relatively normal conversation. Watching the news on television. He even grabbed the remote and muted the sound when I came into the room. Unfortunately when a patient gets sent from the nursing ...

Read More »

Medicine Can Be A Taunting, Vicious Profession At Times

By Birdstrike MD   Not too long ago, I was busy at work seeing patients. The secretary yelled, “Dr. Birdstrike, there’s a phone call for you.” “Alright,” I said. “Transfer it over.” I answered the phone. “Hello, Dr. Birdstrike, this is ***** ****** from the ****** State Medical Board,” said a jabbing, deep military sounding voice. “Uh…hello,” I said. I felt a jolt of electricity in my chest. This wasn’t a phone call I expected nor wanted. The state —-ing ...

Read More »

Texas Lawsuit Damage Caps Must Cause Cancer

Never put it past a plaintiff’s attorney to twist an argument to the benefit of other plaintiff attorneys. The last post I wrote was about (former) neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, who was recently convicted of a first degree felony related to his medically negligent treatment of an elderly patient’s back pain. There were extenuating circumstances in this case. Dr. Duntsch had established a pattern of egregious medical mistakes. When patients developed complications after surgery, Dr. Duntsch also had apparently tried to ...

Read More »

Patient Encounters

A False Alarm

There aren’t too many times that the staff gets the giggles when a patient’s monitor shows ventricular tachycardia. Normally, there is a flurry of activity while everyone wheels a code cart into a patient’s room ready to deliver lifesaving shocks. So when the new nurse was halfway through her second day working in the ED, she couldn’t believe how calm the staff was when the cardiac monitor began alarming in Room 8. Room 8 was Clarence. He had dementia and ...

Read More »

Emergency Diarrhea

I simultaneously love and hate nights like this. It’s not just that it seems like patients get off a bus all at the same time and wander over to the registration desk. It’s that almost everyone in the emergency department is actually having an emergency. Full arrest. Stroke. Overdose. Cardiac arrhythmia. Bowel obstruction … with a spike in the cardiac enzymes to boot. What’s that? You can’t reach the  cardiologist or his partner … and the ICU was full so we have to ...

Read More »

The Diesel Fitter

I took care of a patient who was a pipefitter and which reminded me of another patient I had long long ago. I looked back through the blog and never mentioned this story before, so here it is. The patient was rather intoxicated and he said that he had hurt his leg at work. So naturally I asked him what kind of work he does. “I’m a diesel fitter.” “You mean a pipe fitter?” “No, a diesel fitter.” “Well what ...

Read More »

How to Get Tazed Out of Spite

One of the “regulars” comes into the ED. He has a long rap sheet of pain medication prescriptions on the state database from multiple different providers and is complaining of back pain for which he is requesting a prescription for more pain medications. The 30 Percocet that he filled three days ago have mysteriously vanished. The emergency physician tells him he’s on “The List” and tells him that he’s going to get Naprosyn and like it. The patient tells the ...

Read More »

Latest Healthcare Updates