What was the MOST ridiculous thing a patient came to the ER for? - page 69

and do you have to treat them? I am just curious. Your stories always seem to either crack me up or shake my head in amazement. Thanks for sharing :)... Read More

  1. by   andhow5
    Quote from jojotoo
    No, the ER does NOT have to treat everybody. We are only required to provide a medical screening exam and if an emergency exists, stabilizing treatment. So if more doctors refused to treat non-emergent problems, rashes, colds, and some of the more ridiculous things that people come to the ER for, and refer them back to their PMD / clinic, we wouldn't have so many ERs going broke and having to close.


    Well said!
  2. by   Victoriakem
    We used to have a drunk patient who would be brought in almost daily by EMS & treated our ED like a flop house. He would sleep it off, eat & then demand to leave. Not a nice person to be around....
    One day after several days in a row of this behavior, the Doc in charge of him told us to remove his stretcher, not feed him & after cussing us out, left within 30 minutes. We didn't see him again for a long time. Nice work Doc.
  3. by   jojotoo
    We need more docs like that!!
  4. by   andhow5
    Quote from Victoriakem
    We used to have a drunk patient who would be brought in almost daily by EMS & treated our ED like a flop house. He would sleep it off, eat & then demand to leave. Not a nice person to be around....
    One day after several days in a row of this behavior, the Doc in charge of him told us to remove his stretcher, not feed him & after cussing us out, left within 30 minutes. We didn't see him again for a long time. Nice work Doc.
    That's when I would have wandered up to my off-duty cop and told him that a drunk left AMA, so he would've been hunted down and arrested for public intoxication!
  5. by   luvkitties
    Quote from vikvik1978
    Well in our country preservatives=condoms.....

    so THAT'S why lubrication is called jelly...
  6. by   Alixandra
    I don't know why anyone would want to go to an ER unless they had to. Obviously a lot of people do since this thread is full of them.
    I have had to go to the 3 times in my adult life(infected finger that had to be lanced, working in deli with fake fingernails hit fake nail against pusher on slicer and ripped off over half my real nail and a good chunk of skin with it(that was a rather painful and bloody encouter that cured me of ever wearing fake nails again) and the third was mastitis at 3 wks pp) each time while it was worth it in the end I didn't like it too much and never wanted to go back unless I really had to.
    I ended up with mastits again at 8 wks pp and waited to get an appointment with my doc, who upon seeing me and my now badly infected breasts(yes both were at that point, less than 12 hours later, infected) yelled at me that I should of gone to the ER. I didn't want to because I didn't like my last experience of spending 5 hours alone(they wouldn't let my 3 wk old back with me(and I know it was for a very valid reason, even if I don't see the logic in keeping him in the waiting room with everyone vs me and the person I could hear next to me(r/o DVT) with my curtains drawn) and my husband couldn't very well be in the waiting room with him so he could be exposed to EVERYONE(who all wanted to look at, touch, breathe on and coo at the baby) who came through the door so he took our son home and I got to call him to come get me once I was released) freezing in a breastmilk soaked hospital gown, badly engorged(woke up sick and didn't have time to fully pump and wasn't offered one in the ER, and I had a fever of 103.8 30 mins after I took Tylenol, my son was still asleep so couldn't offer him any, not that it would have mattered as he still couldn't latch properly and wouldn't have helped me any anyways, and we flew to the ER) and leaking everywhere. It also trashed my milk supply for weeks afterwards. I also didn't see the point in spending another $100 on an ER visit when a $15 co-pay at the dr's office would get me faster treatment once I arrived as I had an appointment, I could pump ahead of time so I wouldn't be full and be home well before I would need to pump again, I wouldn't be forced to be seperated from my son and it wouldn't take hours to get my script for antibiotics(which was all I really needed anyways) so I could go on my way and I didn't want to bother the ER staff for a simple breast infection. I will say it only took 5 hrs with my ER visit prior because I was not showing any obvious mastitis signs, like red breasts, that appeared after I got home from the ER and sat down to finally pump. So I had to get a full workup, blood cultures, pelvic exam(with stitches still in, I wouldn't recommend that for my worst enemy, the poor doctor looked horrified when she saw I was still sporting stiches and I was horrified, at my reaction when she tried to insert a regular sized speculum and I almost kicked her from the pain of her trying to insert it, she quickly grabbed a ped one which still hurt but wasn't as bad), chest x-ray, etc(basically they were checking for anything and everything that could make a woman who delivered a baby 3 wks prior run a very high temp that wasn't being controlled with Tylenol), mastitis was kind of a "nothing else is wrong, lets assume it's mastitis and treat it as such", per my OB. They did their jobs and did them well trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and considering it was a very rainy Friday and they were overfull with patients who had real emergencies like MVAs, strokes, MIs, embolisms, etc I felt bad taking up a bed for 5 hours with something stupid and not an emergency, a breast infection. My OB had told me that I should have been offered a breast pump but as I said they were really busy, with real emergencies, and my painfully overfull leaking boobs were most certainly not an emergency. If I had had any sense I would have brought my own breastpump, but we were kind of in a rush to get me to the ER(I wasn't even wearing a bra, that's how fast we left I didn't have time to put one on) when we left and the last thing on my mind was to bring my breastpump. I did however at 8 wks pp earned the distiction of having the worst case of mastitis that my doctor and her nurses(who all wanted a peek and all of them, including my female doc flinched when they saw it, one breast was almost completely red and the other was also starting to get multiple red streaks,and it had not looked that way when I had pumped not even 1/2 hr earlier, only one breast had a red streak that didn't even cover half my breast) had ever seen.
    I would never dream of abusing the ER, when my gallbladder went south(I was 25 at the time my gallbladder should have still had at the very least a good 15 years left in it) and all I could do was lay on the couch, moan and occasionally run to the bathroom to puke my guts out and dry heave and retch for 3 days straight I refused to go to the ER because #1- barfing and feeling like crap isn't an emergency #2- I knew I would end up spending a good 12 hours waiting to be seen in a normal er, after being triaged, in the waiting room since barfing is not a real emergency and #3- I didn't have insurance and I knew my only choice would be the county hospital and I knew I'd spend at least a day(if not longer) in the waiting room waiting for them to see me and I really didn't feel up to spending any amount of time in the emergency room, I felt too sick to go to the hospital. I knew I wouldn't be able to pay for an ER bill, and even though everyone told me to just go anyway and not worry about the bill, it would eventually be written off and that they had to see me I felt like if I did that I'd be cheating the system for something that I didn't see as an emergency so I knew my only choice would be Parkland(county hospitals are usually a lot more forgiving when you tell them there is no way on earth, even with the only 2 adults in the household working(my job didn't offer insurance and my husband couldn't afford to put me on his), that you can pay them) and I wasn't wasting their time with something stupid like the fact that I had done nothing but puke, retch and dry heave for the past 3 days and in the time it took me to pay them back(I'm not one to refuse to try and work something out to pay off a bill, if it's my bill I'm going to pay it, even if it takes a while to actually pay it off) the money they had spent to treat me could take away from the treatment of someone with a REAL emergency.
    Just my very very long 2 cents on this. Abuse of the ER should be a crime, and it's people like that who make people with issues that should be treated in the ER(mastitis being one of them as I found out with my second bout of it, my doctor told me I was very lucky I didn't end up with an abscess) to wait to see their own doctors and end up sicker because they are afraid of bothering the ER staff with something that they think isn't really an emergency, as in they aren't in eminent danger of dying. I hope this makes sense, I'm a little one the tried side.

    Taryn
  7. by   ERNP
    By ambulance, patient treated for assault and intoxication. Told to take Tylenol when discharged.

    Next morning, by ambulance....... c/o out of tylenol.

    And you all know you can't make this stuff up.
  8. by   JessicRN
    Quote from jojotoo
    Why do you keep feeding these people? My thought is, if you have money for alcohol or drugs - you have money for food.
    I tried not feeding these people except when they come have been here many hours and it is meal times but I am usually circumveted by a fellow nurse or a doctor. One nurse not only feeds them but she gives them a cab voucher and lets them walk out without making sure they take a cab(we all know the person is going to sell the cab voucher for booze). They call it job security, remember they all have medicaid and the hospital gets paid for every trip. With just the 2 I mentioned they averaged 100 visits a month.
  9. by   grace90
    Quote from Alixandra
    I felt bad taking up a bed for 5 hours with something stupid and not an emergency, a breast infection.
    I could be wrong, but...I think a temp of 103.8 at 3 wks pp IS an emergency. So is vomiting and abdominal pain for 3 days. Those are both good reasons for going, IMO.
  10. by   teeituptom
    Quote from JessicRN
    We have 5-6 patients that come to the ED by ambulance every single day anywhere from 0nce to 6 times in a day always "overserved" One of them averaged 5 times a day for 7 days straight when she comes in she is hitting and sreaming at the staff demanding food when we don't give her food immediately she flopps on the floor if we give her food she finishes it then says she needs a cigarette then goes out for a cigarette and elopes only to return for the next meal. Usually she comes in with c/o of abdominal pain (hx of pancreatitis)or difficulty breathing (she has COPD) we give her nebulizers and work her up only to have her take off before the results are back. We tried getting her section 35'd and she made such a ruckess in the court the judge threw her out saying don't come back! The other one comes back almost comatose desaturating to 80 when not on a rebreather.She just sobers up enough to stand, then off she goes to get drunk again. Another also comes for the lunch meal then screams and yells after eating that he wants to leave. He is so obnocious the staff lets him go if he can stand.
    PAGING Dr Kevorkian where are you
  11. by   andhow5
    Quote from Alixandra
    II had a fever of 103.8 30 mins after I took Tylenol
    Seeing that you were 3 weeks PP, you did the right thing in going in to be seen. The staff would not consider you a pest or imposition. That's an urgent problem.

    I felt bad taking up a bed for 5 hours with something stupid and not an emergency, a breast infection. My OB had told me that I should have been offered a breast pump
    Again, that was not a stupid problem - it was a truly urgent condition. So don't beat yourself up over it or feel bad. We would've considered you a "real" patient!

    However, that being said - the comment from your OB/GYN about how the ER should've offered you a breast pump... WTH? It's an ER, not a birthing center, and we don't stock breast pumps. Obviously that MD has never worked ER a day in his/her life, LOL!

    If I was your nurse, I would've offered you some ice packs, but that's about as much as you could've had done for *that* particular problem... It just makes me hurt for you and WITH you, as it takes me back to the days I had similar problems.

    Glad you can post about it!
  12. by   Alixandra
    I know the first time was definetly an emergency, especially considering my temp went up after I took the Tylenol, so I knew I was in trouble. My husband was freaking that I was going to have a seizure or something due to my temp. He said later if my temp had gone down after I took the Tylenol, he wouldn't have taken me to the ER(he's an idiot, and that and with my gallbladder problems, before they figured out what it was, he said repeatedly that I wasn't really sick and it was 'all in my head.' Our divorce will be finalized on Sept 7 for different reasons, but let's just say I'm not sad to get rid of him.) I knew it was a real emergency before we even left home for the ER and considering I was taken straight back from triage and they had sent everyone before me back to the waiting room, I knew they considered it a true emegency as well. I just felt bad that it took so long for them to figure out what was wrong with me, as I said I was not showing any of the normal signs of mastitis until I actually got home from the ER. The second time, which actually happened at 7 weeks pp(as I said I was tired last night and couldn't think straight), I knew what I had, my fever was well controlled with Tylenol, and never went above 102 and I didn't think it was that serious and that I could wait for an appointment with my doctor. Had I know how bad it was going to be by the time the dr saw me I would have drug my sick self to the ER. My husband was asleep because he worked nights, and I knew he couldn't take another day off. We worked at the same place and they were already mad that I had taken off a month for bedrest( for PIH, not that I really had a choice on that) and then had the nerve to take off 7 weeks after I had my son(I was returning to work in 2 days when I got mastitis again, and yes I went back to work 2 days later sick and in pain), so they were taking it out on my husband. I also really didn't want to take my 7 week old son with me to the ER since the last thing I needed would be for him to catch something(and lets face it, almost any illness at that age is serious) and end up sick. They ended up taking pity on me and gave me Tylenol 3(or something like that that was safe for me to take while nursing) for pain management, and I think I took it all of once for pain.
    Also, the breast pump thing, my doctor knew the ER could offer breast pumps(I'm assuming borrowed from a diff part of the hospital, prolly NICU, since they have a lvl 2 on site) since she had had twins less than a year before and one of her daughters was sick and in the ER and they lent her a breastpump to use while she waited with her daughter. I'm assuming they weren't very busy when she was in there with her daughter. As I said, it wasn't a big deal, the only real issue I had was that I was already shivering from the fever, the cold(to me, but vital to help get my temp down) IV fluid they were pumping in me(which only make my milk production increase and my leaking worse) and the milk soaked gown(and the entire front was completely soaked and there was a giant puddle of it that I was laying on in the bed) only made me shiver more. I spent most of the stay huddled under the blanket on the bed.
    As I said I know they were really busy, with real emergencies due to it being a very rainy, cold(for Oct in Dallas, TX, so not actually THAT cold) Fri night and were dealing with multiple MVCs and other 'normal' emergencies and were packed way beyond capacity. There was also a nasty viral infection(that produced flu-like symptoms) that was flying around at the time so that only made it even more packed. They told me I could only have my son back with me if I was moved to a private room but that it most likely would not happen(and it didn't, not that I cared.) Leaking breasts are certainly not an emergency and I would rather they take care of their patients emergency issues/complaints than give a thought about my breasts leaking. When my OB said they should have offered me a pump, I just shrugged and told her it was no big deal, they were really busy and my breasts leaking were the least of my(or anyone elses for that matter) problems to say the least. The nurses and the doctors were way too busy with everything to worry about anything that wasn't fatal, they had at least one patient who was randomly and repeatedly coding for no obvious reason, so that alone was keeping them rather busy.
    The gallbladder thing was more about me not having insurance, not coming close to qualifying for medicaid(we were poor, but not poor enough, and besides you had to be pregnant to qualify), or the money to pay for an ER bill. I refused to abuse the system and end up with a medical bill that I couldn't pay unless they let me work out a payment plan over several years. I did go to see my primary care doc(and spent most of the time waiting in the bathroom retching and dry heaving, which was another reason I really didn't want to go to the ER, I was just miserable) who couldn't really do much because I didn't have insurance and she knew my husband and I couldn't afford a huge medical bill(she had been our doctor for over 5 years at that point and knew our financial situation was bad if I didn't have insurance), so she gave me anti nausea meds, assumed I just had the 'stomach flu'(her words not mine) and told me to go to the drug store and buy a pregnancy test to make sure I wasn't pregnant. My IUD made me have a period about every 6 months, so I had had my last period in March and it was now July. It was also cheaper for me to go buy a pregnancy test that it would be for her to administer one in her office. It was a logical assumption that I could have been pregnant, afterall, I was 25, married, and already had one child, who was 18 months at the time and hadn't had a period in 4 months, even though that was normal with the IUD.

    It just bugs me when people abuse the system, I understand having a true emergency and going in without being able to pay, that is why the law was put in place for situation like that, but to go in knowing you can't afford it with something that isn't anywhere close to an emergency really makes me mad. Actually, even if you can afford the bill you still shouldn't go to the ER with anything that isn't really an emergency.

    Taryn
  13. by   RNMISTY362b
    Had A Pt Arrive Via Med Star For A Pimple "a Growth In Pt's Words" The Doc Told Pt To Wash With Soap And Water. Of Course Tons Of Pregnacy Test Then Want To Go Ama When Told The Result. My Favorite Lmp Was 6-17 And It Was 7-03 Stated "i Am Pregant And Having Pain " Got Test Results And Vanished. Always A Fun Night By The The Pimple Pt Had Spent 9 Hours Inthe Ed Waiting To Be Seen.

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