Nathan works nights as a scribe taking notes for doctors at an emergency room in Minneapolis. He gives us the 5 sketchiest/worst things he's seen working in the emergency department:
- 0.52 BAC guy. A lot of patients are brought in for intoxication. Really drunk patients hang out in the emergency department for several hours until they are sent to detox. We saw a guy who had a blood alcohol content of 0.52, 0.08 is the legal driving limit in MN. 0.52 is impressive, even more impressive is that he was acting relatively normal. He ended up avoiding detox and going home with a friend.
- Contagious things. Last week a man was brought in who had recently been diagnosed with tuberculosis, an incredibly contagious bacterial infection. He was brought in against his will and he was intentionally coughing and spitting on hospital staff. By the time we got him in restraints and a spit hood, it turned out that he had an intestinal TB that isn’t transmitted through cough/spit. So many sighs of relief.
- Narcotic seekers. Emergency rooms in cities are plagued by patients that want an immediate solution (narcotic pain meds) to their chronic health problems. Emergency physicians typically don’t give pain meds to these patients; this means these patients aren’t getting what they want (and to be fair sometimes need). A percentage of them throw temper tantrums, make physical threats, etc.
- Ketamine hip reduction. We saw a middle-aged woman who had dislocated her hip after some kind of fall. Her hip had to be reduced in the ER; this involved the physician forcing the hip joint back into place. Some genius decided to give her ketamine and she ended up having a severe allergic reaction to it. It made her go berserk and she went on a hulk-style rampage throughout the ER. It seriously took far too many hospital staff to stop this middle-aged mom with a dislocated hip.
- Feet. Without a doubt, feet are the worst things I see on a regular basis in the ED. Short of a simple foot injury, if someone comes into the ED with foot pain it’s safe to say that they have some real personal hygiene issues. The sight and smell of these foot issues are seriously the worst. Feet suck.
Clip filmed and edited by Pete Spooner. Check back next Wednesday for more DEBRI2 coverage.