The focus of this web site is medicine. In this blog, you’ll read about patient stories. The situations have been changed to be HIPAA compliant. Factual statements may or may not be true. I may change ages, gender or presenting complaints about patients. I may even entirely make up complete patient encounters from my fertile imagination. Trust me, if you think I’m writing about you, I’m not. There are billions of people in this world and readers send me stories about patients all the time. It isn’t you.
You’ll also read a lot about health care policy. I may throw in posts about life lessons, computers, and will even throw in family stories once in a while. If you’re looking for articles about politics, sports, or celebrities, you’re in the wrong place – unless the topics have some relationship to medicine.
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A patient gets brought by ambulance for suicidal threat. He’s going to “slit his motherF’ing throat.” When he is brought in, he is still slurring his speech and you get a buzz when he breathes on you. We told him that he has to be admitted for stabilization then sent to a psych institution (psych transfers are another issue – ill go into that on another rant). Well the patient doesn’t want to stay in the hospital. He had a job interview the next morning. He gets uppity with the nurses and starts swinging, so he gets to try on some complimentary leather wrist bracelets. We’re getting all of the stuff together to put in an IV and draw blood and he starts screaming “Stop this shit. Stop it. You’re all just doing unnecessary shit to me to run up my hospital bill.” Then he began flexing his muscles trying to break through the leathers. Everyone just stopped and watched for a few seconds. It was almost like a mime routine. He pulled out all of the slack in the leathers and then just strained. His face got red, but his arms didn’t go anywhere. After the Marcel Marceau imitation was finished, he finally figured out that he couldn’t break a leather restraint, so then he started shaking the bed back and forth. Reasoning with him didn’t work. So to protect him and the staff, we decided to put him to sleep with a little Haldol. While the nurse was putting in the IV, the patient asked “what’s that?” We told him. Then he went back to shaking the bed. Then the nurse flushed the line with saline. The patient asked “what’s THAT?” We told him. Back to shaking the bed. Then came the Haldol. The patient stopped and yells “now what’s THAT?” The nurse says “it’s a psychiatric medication called Haldol … and its REALLY expensive.” Great. Thanks, Tony. All of a sudden, it turns into … “Welcome to the first annual Hosptial Rodeo, ladies and gentlemen. In room 6 we have ‘Bucking Budweiser.’ Boy, something sure shook him up. He just bucked two riders off of him and nearly flipped the bed over. He’s snorting and hollering like nothing I’ve ever seen before.” “Yeah, Jim. Maybe he got stung by a bee or something. I sure pity the next person who tries to calm him down.” Fortunately, IV Haldol works quickly and the rodeo ended as quickly as it started. The real fun was trying to transfer him.Read More »