A 27-year-old man was dropped off by his friends after having been assaulted. He said he had been kicked and punched by several men earlier in the evening.
On exam, he was found to have hospital scrubs on under his clothes and was wearing hospital booties for socks. He had minor trauma on his face. When he was rolled over to check his back, a partially-used bottle of tetanus vaccine was found tucked in his gluteal fold (butt crack.)
When I asked about it, he said he had been naked when he was in the ambulance and had rolled over and it accidentally stuck there. I pointed out to him that he didn’t come in by ambulance and that ambulances don’t carry tetanus shots.
He thought for a second then said, “I don’t want to lie.” He then told a story about how his friend had given him the bottle as he headed to the emergency department, telling him it was pain medicine. He could use it if he needed it once he got here and no one would give him anything for pain. Once he took the medicine from his friend, he got worried he would get busted for having it so he hid it in his butt crack.
The third story that eventually came out was probably closest to the truth. He finally admitted he had been at another hospital earlier in the evening and left against medical advice before his evaluation had been concluded. While there, he saw the bottle of tetanus vaccine and, thinking it was pain medicine, stole it. On arrival at hour hospital, he became worried he would get caught with it so he tucked it in there for safekeeping.
My evaluation found nothing more than alcohol intoxication and some minor facial trauma. He was discharged home, without the tetanus vaccine.
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