First, I’m taking care of a patient with shortness of breath. I’m standing at the side of the cart. He leans forward and I listen to his lungs with my stethoscope. Sound good. Then I lean the bed back a little so that I can listen to his heart and press on his abdomen. The sides of the cart are up and I usually just lean over the sides of the cart to put my stethoscope into position.
I rest one hand on the cart rail and lean over with the stethoscope in my hand to listen to the patient’s abdomen. Well the damn cart rail wasn’t locked into place, so when I lean on it, it folds down and I lose my balance … falling forward into the patient … and the side of my head lands firmly in his genitals.
Yes, I accidentally headbutted my patient in his crotch.
He yells out and instinctively pulls his knees up. I’m struggling to keep from falling on the floor. I wobbled to my feet as the respiratory tech peeked her head in the door to see what was happening. All she could see was my head rising up from the middle of the patient’s bed and the patient curled up in a fetal position.
I just looked at her for a few long seconds. She looked back at me. I felt my face getting red and couldn’t think of any smart ass comment, so I said “Don’t ask. Just … don’t … ask.”
Then the patient started cracking up … in a slightly higher voice than he came into the hospital with.
The fun wasn’t over, though.
A little kid gets brought in by his parents because the mom thinks the child has an ear infection. Every time that someone walked in the room, the kid started crying uncontrollably and climbing up mom’s chest to get away. As soon as staff left the room, the kid was fine again.
When I tried to examine the child, the mom wanted me to do the exam with the kid sitting on her lap.
Personally, I like laying the kids on the table because it is easier to control their movement when trying to look in their ears and their throats. The mom was insistent that I examine the kid while sitting in her lap. I reluctantly agreed.
When I started to go near the kid, he started wigging out. Shaking his head back and forth, squirming all around, flinging his arms every which way.
“You’re going to have to control him better or I’m not going to be able to examine him properly.”
So mom pins his arms to his sides and holds him tight against her body. Dad is just sitting in the chair against the wall.
I got closer to look in the kid’s ear and he starts squirming again. He starts wiggling his body so he is sliding further and further down onto his mother’s lap. I’m getting ready to tell the mom that we really need to put him on the table and then …
I see stars.
A 19 month old kid nearly brought me to the ground with a kick to the crotch. This wasn’t just any kick, though. Now that the child realized he had a leverage point, he hooked his foot there for a second and started pressing his foot against my leg to try to squirm free. The only problem was that my left gonad was between his foot and my leg. I doubled over, started talking like Pee Wee Herman, and limped out the door.
Don’t worry, lady. I’ll just write him a script for some Amoxicillin after I get done puking in the bathroom.
Never thought I needed to recommend athletic cups for use in the emergency department.
And I’m never … ever … examining a kid in the parent’s lap again.