Sure medical shows provide the sights of pulsing arterial wounds or checked chests and the sound of the ominous flatline monotone heard in the background, but no TV drama can accurately portray the rich cornucopia of olfactory insults that pervade the ER.
This premium blend of distinct aromas combines the subtle essence of raging urosepsis with the heavy tang of a massive GI bleed. The breath of an EtOHer drunk on Listerine adds a touch of mint, while often competing with the scent of stale urine. Meanwhile, the heavy, moist essence of unwashed body odor can easily be complemented by a splash of fresh vomit (which itself can be spiced with corn chowder to taste). Add in my guy from the other night who reeked of hot dogs and you've got the next fragrance sensation that we'll call L'eau d'ER.
While it's not uncommon for smells such as these to drive people out of the ER, I'd never heard of odor alone bringing people in until I came across this article from the LA Times, in which seven people are said to have sought hospital care after opening a refrigerator filled with rotting food. Smells a little fishy to me.