Saturday 16 March 2013

Leave him alone

I'll be blunt, a lot of the patients that I get in my trauma bay are bullshit. I don't mean the patients themselves are, but the "trauma" that they've suffered is often not enough to cause any significant injuries, and I end up sending them directly home. But I found out recently that some bullshit is even bullshittier than the rest.

I was informed that my first patient of the day was a fall from a standing position, and I groaned audibly. Unless you are elderly and fall on your hip, or unless you fall face first on pavement, it's difficult to do any real damage in a ground-level fall. But this guy apparently did fall flat on his face, so I was hopeful the Bullshit Factor would be low.

Wow, was I ever wrong.

He rolled in on the gurney looking less sick than I did that day. Other than a scratch on his forehead, he was absolutely fine. So why the hell was he there?

Brace yourself.

He tripped on the curb while waiting for his bus and fell forward, catching himself before any significant impact occurred. But some Good Samaritan bystander saw him fall and called emergency services, who (unluckily for him) showed up before his bus. He tried to tell them he was fine, but they insisted he come with them. So he ran away from them. He ran a whole kilometer away from them. So they did the only sensible thing - THEY CALLED THE POLICE. Once the police arrived, they convinced him to come to the hospital and get evaluated.

It took a trauma surgeon to clean up his scratch and put on a Band Aid, which any 5-year old playing doctor could do.

If any medics are reading this, for fuck's sake if a patient tells you he's fine and can run further than you can, unless he's bleeding from his eyes or has an arm missing, just leave him the hell alone and go find someone who really needs you. And who really needs me.


  1. That's unbelievable. Why call an ambulance in the first place? Unless he seemed to receive a bad knock. In the UK if an ambulance is called for a head injury you will be taken in just to make sure but I'm pretty sure it would be an A&E nurse that would see to you.

  2. That is insane! Especially because an ambulance ride is soo expensive. Not to mention the fact that it was against his will. I can't wait until I am in medical school :)


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