We see a lot of methamphetamine-crazed people in our emergency department. One such guy came in the other night. He was in his twenties and was so crazy he had to be held down by multiple staff, police and medics. He was sweating profusely and his stringy hair was in his face. His heart was racing, he was thrashing and he was hollering, though the only word you could understand started with “F.”
He got our usual treatment: leather restraints on all extremities, sedatives, and a close evaluation to make sure nothing else was going on.
All such patients are assigned a “sitter.” This is a staff member who has no other responsibility than to watch the patient to make sure he is safe. When I went back a few minutes later to check on the patient, the room reeked of stinky feet and the poor sitter was stuck there, unable to leave the room. The patient’s shoes and socks were so bad, they had been taken off and sealed inside double plastic bags. I am sure that helped, but his bare feet were also very stinky so the room was no less unpleasant.
I recommended the sitter place plastic bags over the patient’s feet and tape them around his ankles. This he did, with great result in clearing up the air. I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a picture.
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