“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
If television programs like ‘ER’ are anything to go by, it can get frantic in the emergency rooms of some hospitals. Everything seems to happen at breakneck speed. Give me the thingummy-bob STAT and all that sort of thing.
Unless you have the misfortune to need to visit an emergency room in the UK. Then you’ll be urgently placed in a queue for two or three hours, maybe a lot longer! I have heard so many horror stories about the waiting times there.
Hopefully the doctors don’t make too many mistakes, but here are a few examples of what I think we could call medical bloopers as reported by the Doctors themselves.
1. From Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Francisco
A man comes into the ER and yells, ‘My wife’s going to have her baby in the cab!’
I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady’s dress, and began to take off her under- wear.
Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs — and I was in the wrong one.
2. From Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA
At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall.
‘Big breaths,’ I instructed.
‘Yes, they used to be,’ replied the patient.
3. From Dr. Susan Steinberg
One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarction.
Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a ‘massive internal fart.’
4. From Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA
During a patient’s two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications.
‘Which one?’ I asked. ‘The patch, the nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I’m running out of places to put it!’ I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn’t see.
Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body!
Now, the instructions ; include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
5. From Dr. Steven Swanson-Corvallis, OR
While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, ‘How long have you been bedridden?’
After a look of complete confusion she answered.
‘Why, not for about twenty years – when my husband was alive.’
6. From Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit, MI
I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking up on a woman I asked, ‘So how’s your breakfast this morning?’
‘It’s very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can’t seem to get used to the taste’, the patient replied.
I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled ‘KY Jelly.’
7. From RN no name
A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered.
It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery.
When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, ‘Keep off the grass.’
Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient’s dressing, which said, ‘Sorry, had to mow the lawn.’
8. From Dr. wouldn’t submit his name
As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams.
To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly.
The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me.
I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, ‘I’m sorry. Was I tickling you?’
She replied, ‘No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, ‘I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener’.