Archive for February2006

39 Medical Diagnoses

60-year-old female (a frequent flyer know to us) with low temp this am (87.6 –Shouldn’t they have maybe taken it twice to see if that was really what they got?) and low blood sugar(given 2 mg glucagon by nursing staff at 6 AM), now this afternoon (5 PM) has high blood sugar (400) and a […]


Here’s the punchline to start: You intubate a patient who is a DNR, but not a DNI while they still have a pressure and are breathing. Then they lose pulses and BP, and they cease breathing on their own, but instead of going to asystole, they maintain a PEA in the 40’s along with a […]

A Cigarette

The mental health team meets us outside. “We should wait for the police,” the clinician says. “She’s a big woman. When we went back up there she had a knife near her that wasn’t there the first time we were up with her. She’s very anxious today. When she’s off her meds, she can be […]


I’m in the back, helping my preceptee with an IV. I repositon the catheter to get a blood flow, and then pull out the needle, occluding the vein with my left hand while I reach for the saline lock. All of a sudden we are decelerating and I start sliding to my right, and I […]


The snow is coming down in near white out conditions. At one point we lose the road the snow bank kicking up snow that completely obliterates our view through the windshield. We arrive at a townhouse apartment complex where we have been called for an unresponsive diabetic. Carrying our blue house bag, heart monitor, and […]

You Never Know

We’re called for chest pain at the court house. We question whether it is a case of “Jailitis.” We find the patient sitting in the lobby on a bench surrounded by marshals and firefighters. It is a young man – twenty-five. My first reaction is he is a prisoner, but then I realize he is […]

Suffering in the World

We are sent to a detox center for a diabetic. We find a sixty-year old Puerto Rican with a blood sugar over 600, although he has no complaint. He has come to the center to kick his heroin habit. But first now he will have to go to the ER to get his sugar under […]