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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


Possibly submitted from a reader e-mail A patient comes in complaining of swelling to her right foot. No pain. No injury. Just swelling. A quick glance at the patient’s foot showed that there was no swelling whatsoever. Examination … nothing. Range of motion … normal. However, the patient insisted that her foot was swollen. “Where do you feel that your foot is swollen?” “Look. Right here,” pointing at the outer ankle. “Um … ma’am. That’s your ankle.” “No … that’s ...

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Head Child Porcelain

The “Unnecessary” Test

Here’s a real case submitted by a reader. A two year old child is brought into the department by her father, her mother, her grandmother, and her greatgrandmother. All were very concerned. The child was walking on a curb using her dad’s hand for support when she lost her balance and fell. Her dad didn’t catch her quickly enough and the child struck the side of her head. The mother said she saw the child’s head “bounce off the concrete”. ...

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Choose "C"

In case anyone was wondering, I am a rude racist doctor who discriminates against poor people and who has no idea how to provide medical care for children. This message was transmitted to the emergency department nurse, the nursing supervisor, the Director of Patient Affairs, and the secretary to the hospital CEO. Want to know why? I didn’t write a prescription for over-the-counter antifungal cream to treat a 3 week old case of ringworm on a 13 year old patient. ...

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This Is All YOUR Fault

When a patient comes to the emergency department at 3:30 in the morning with an injury that was sustained while moving furniture just prior to arrival, it raises my eyebrows a little. When the first two sentences out of the patient’s mouth to the triage nurse are “I need something for pain – it’s 10 out of 10” and “Also, I’m allergic to Toradol, tramadol, codeine, morphine, and I can’t take NSAIDs because I have an ulcer” then it raises ...

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