Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Unusual Suspects

Unusually slow Monday night ripe with unusually interesting patients.  It all started shortly after I arrived, when I saw two nurses running over to a bedside in the critical care area.  That's never a good sign, so I followed and discovered a patient's wife had syncoped while waiting with her husband.  Grabbing a stretcher, I helped hoist her off the ground and into trendelenberg before checking a set of vitals - heart rate in the low 40s, good pressure but clammy skin.  We had a pair of his and hers stretchers parked next to each other until she got back on her feet.

Later, I had the chance to watch my first thoracentesis as a resident stuck a long needle into a patient's back under the guidance of ultrasound to drain fluid off the pleural space.  Parked in the next room over was a woman who had been hearing things roll around in her head for the past month, and finally decided she could no longer take the noise.  While trying to ignore her, I went to do an EKG on an older gentleman, and when I rolled up his pant legs to place the limb leads, noticed his legs were completely blue-black.  Learned later that it was caused by a reaction to the antibiotic minocyclin.  Rounded out the evening by playing charades to communicate with a stroke patient as a screaming drug seeker serenaded the department.  All in all, not a bad night.

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