We had a situation recently where a pt was intubated in the ER and subsequently admitted to the ICU. The pt claims that he brought certain valuables with him to the ER (cash, wallet content, rings, etc....not sure of the exact nature of said valuables) and they were "stolen" by ED staff as they were not with him when he was unsedated/extubated. An annoying state DOH investigation ensued
and yadda, yadda, yadda...we are now "under the microscope" for how we handle belongings in the ER.
1. Has any other ER faced a similar situation?
2. Even if not, how do you handle a pt's valuables? I understand the difficulties with a sedated and/or intubated pt. However, what about a A&Ox3 pt who goes to MRI? Or even to the bathroom? Someone could slip into the room and swipe something sitting on the BS table.
3. Does anyone's ER go to the point on inventorying every
belonging a person has with them? Is this even possible? In my mind, this still does not solve the potential for theft of an item from a sedated pt.
Any other random comments are appreciated.