A patient came in semi-conscious with low blood pressure. She was known to paramedics for her history of opiate abuse. In the past, the patient had been treated several times for adverse effects from excessive doses of prescription pain medications.
The nurses were having trouble trying to start an IV and there were no good veins visible, so I grabbed an IV, put a tourniquet around the patient’s arm, and slapped the back of the patient’s hand several times to get the veins to stand out. It worked. I was able to get an IV in on the first stick and the patient received some Narcan which immediately woke her up and brought her blood pressure back to normal.
Then she demanded to see a hospital administrator.
“That doctor hit me.”
“Wait. Whoa. What??”
“He hit me in my arm, then he hit me in the side of my head.”
“Ma’am, I slapped the back of your hand so I could start an IV, but no one was near the head of your bed.”
“No … You. HIT. Me.”
Another patient was in the room next to hers waiting to have a laceration sutured. The curtain had been pulled back so that everyone could access the patient’s bed and the patient had watched the entire event.
“You’re lying. He didn’t touch you.” The patient said.
“You mind your business,” said the resuscitated patient. “I WANT to talk to an administrator.”
So the administrator came to the emergency department and took statements from everyone. He promised the patient that he would follow up on the matter and he left the room without even talking to me.
A little while later, I went and sewed up the laceration on the other patient’s face.
“You’ll be able to resume your modeling career in no time,” I said with a smile. “Sorry you had to wait.”
“Hey. At least you didn’t hit me,” he said with a wink.
“Yeah, well you haven’t been discharged yet,” I joked back.
Shortly after we had discharged the patient, the overdose patient rang her call light and demanded to see an administrator again.
The administrator came back to the emergency department and spoke to the patient. A nurse overheard him promising to follow up on both matters.
But what happened? No one had been in her room between then and the first complaint.
Turns out that the patient told the administrator that I had also threatened to hit another patient.
I’m wondering if the administrator can investigate someone being run over by a truck after they leave hospital property …