Category: Kooks

  • Metal in the Eye

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    A 31-year-old woman came in with right eye pain, decreased vision and light sensitivity for eleven days. She had been pounding a screw driver with a hammer to try to open a lock. As she did so, a piece of metal broke off and hit her in the eye. She experienced a lot of pain…

  • Three Different Problems

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    Cat Feces A 51-year-old man came in by ambulance. When I walked in the room, I immediately noted a foul smell. An Emergency Medical Technician student working with me that day took the patient’s vital signs and then started undressing him so he could be fully evaluated.  When the student took the patient’s socks off,…

  • I Need a Splint

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    While I was serving as the Chair of our emergency department, one of my duties was to keep the medical staff advised of certain patients who presented with particularly challenging situations. Here is a memo I wrote to our staff about a man who, after recovering from injuries to his left leg, kept it immobilized…

  • I Need a Place to Stay

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    In our society today, people go to the emergency department for about anything they might need. If you look back through my blog postings, you will see stories of many ridiculous reasons people have come to see me.  One service we provide in the emergency department that most people wouldn’t think of is finding someone…

  • Stabs to the Chest and Face

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    A young man came in as a trauma patient after having been stabbed multiple times. At first glance, the worst injury was a large slash across the front of his chest. However, it only involved the skin and didn’t penetrate into the chest. So, it was really just “a mere flesh wound.” A small laceration…

  • Intussusception

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    Usually, kids with abdominal pain and vomiting do not have worrisome medical problems. Most of the time, they have eaten something that didn’t agree with them or have a stomach virus. But, there are some serious conditions that give kids abdominal pain and make them vomit. An emergency physician has to think of the bad…

  • Things Always Come in Threes

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    My mother-in-law says, “Things always come in threes.” I don’t believe that but I can’t help notice coincidences in my practice. Usually, it involves looking for different patients with similar illnesses or injuries. In this first case, it was infant twins who shared three identical abnormalities. Mom brought in her fraternal (not identical) twin daughters…

  • His Brain on Meth

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    Police were called to a home where a naked 27-year-old man was causing a disturbance. He reportedly threw a dresser at the police when they tried to subdue him. To keep him safe and protect those caring for him, he was hogtied. To hogtie someone, the police cuff the wrists behind the person’s back and…

  • Confidential

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    An emergency physician, by training (and, for me, by nature) wants things to be simple and straightforward. Often, patients show up with anything but simple and straightforward complaints. Sometimes they even come in with detailed notes laying out the course of their symptoms. I am sure they think that lots of details will help the…

  • Chip in the Neck

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    A 47-year-old woman came into the emergency department one evening. The “Chief Complaint,” as recorded by the nurse, was “Pain in the neck for 3-4 years. Wants x-ray done.” She told me this all started about three-and-a-half years ago when she woke up in the morning with a “slit” in her left neck. She said…