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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

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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Great Door to Balloon Time

Interesting but sad case that bypassed the ED but about which we later heard. An elderly female with previous coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hypertension called EMS for chest pain. Then she has a syncopal event in front of her husband. Medics arrived and found the patient in ventricular tachycardia.  They cardioverted her back to sinus rhythm, but she was still hypotensive. EMS transports her as a sudden cardiac arrest to a STEMI facility. The patient is taken directly to ...

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Unnecessary Testing

An 89 year old little old lady is brought in because she is weak and doesn’t want to eat. She hasn’t eaten in about a week and she hasn’t been out of her home in longer than that. Finally a friend visiting her convinces her to come to the hospital for some IV fluids. When she arrives, her tongue is dry, she’s tachycardic, and she has no urine output. We begin fluids and obtain labs that show she is moderately ...

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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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