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Antique Typewriter - HC update 14

Healthcare Update — 03-07-2016

“VA suicide hotline. Your call is very important to us. Please leave a message after the beep.”  Data provided to USA Today shows that up to 1 in 5 calls to a VA suicide crisis hotline was dropped or sent to voice mail. One veteran from Illinois allegedly killed himself by laying on train tracks after being unable to reach someone on the hotline. Want to get the munchies? Pull an all-nighter. Study shows that those with “restricted sleep” (4.5 ...

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Dear Diary 2

Dear Diary #21

So, diary, it’s been almost a month since my last post. I keep writing things down to post about, then when I make time to actually sit down and write the posts, something comes up – almost without fail. I’ve had five days off of work and today – the night before a string of shifts – I finally have a little time while the family is out doing errands. This whole 2016 year has been quite trying. I already ...

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Angry Man

That Hesitation When …

… a patient’s family member comes up to you and asks “Hey. You’re Dr. WhiteCoat, aren’t you? Didn’t you work at University Medical Center like 6 or 7 years ago?” You casually look to see if there are any weapons in his hand and, seeing none, you cautiously say “Yeah.” Then the family member says “I thought that was you. Yeah. You’re a good doctor. You saved my father’s life. He talked about you up until he died a couple ...

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Patient Encounters

The Case of the Bleeding Ear Takes a Bizarre Twist

By Birdstrike M.D. My shift is over and I’m ready to head out the Emergency Department door.  When I walked in 12 hours ago, the department had 20 waiting patients.  I look up at the monitor and after 12 hours of trying to wrestle the department under control, not only is it not under control, now we’re 25 patients deep in the weeds.  My partner Dr. Jim looks at me and says, “Get out of here.  Don’t even think about ...

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From www.morguefile.com

It’s ALIVE

There was a lull in the patients at 2:15 AM. Conversation turned from splinting and IV drips to baby names and childrearing as two of our nurses are currently pregnant. The aroma of freshly-brewed coffee filled the air. Then the next patient registered. A girl in her early 20s. She sheepishly came up to the registration window and said “there’s something crawling inside of me.” Yes, we thought it, too. “OK, ma’am. When was your last menstrual period?” “I think it may ...

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Doctor picture

Is Bad Medical Care Better Than No Medical Care?

In my past few shifts in the emergency department, I have seen the following patients who were seeking further care after being treated by other providers. One was a child who had been seen twice at an urgent care clinic. He had a fever of 103 degrees and wasn’t eating. The first time he went to the urgent care center, he was diagnosed with an ear infection. He was started on amoxicillin and sent home. He returned to the clinic ...

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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 ...

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