- inspired by the "Share your funniest patient story" thread.
Stories about amusing (rather than incompetent/distressing) goofs, comments etc by any member of the health care team.
We have patients admitted for elective continuous video/EEG monitoring (for seizure classification). There's a camera above the curtain, with an infrared light, and the patient's hooked up to EEG leads which feed into a metal box which weighs about 2 kilos (4.4 pounds). Although the EEG and video are continuously recorded, the tapes are only reviewed if the patient has an episode - pressing the patient buzzer creates an electronic bookmark. The tapes are reviewed by an EEG tech, then screened during the weekly neurology meeting - nurses, resident, registrar, fellows, consultants.
Several years ago one of the neurology Fellows decided that we could get a clearer EEG trace if the lead boxes were bandaged to the patient's heads. This was not a popular move - 2 kilos is a lot of weight to have tied to your head for a week. But if the patients remoed the bandages the Fellow would get veeery upset with the nursing staff (apparently patients are docile creatures that will do as they're told, and therefore the removal was our fault).
One night a patient started fitting, and the night cover - let's call him John - was asked to review the patient. John had been a neurology resident a couple of rotations earlier, and was familiar with the old, unbandaged technique.
John came up and checked out the patient, who was drowsy and disoriented, but okay. Turning from the head of the bed, John said to the patient's nurse - let's call her Lisa - who was standing at the foot of the bed, "What's with the bandage?"
Lisa: the new neurology Fellow thinks that it generates a better trace
John: well that's just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! Is he nuts? I can't imagine the patients put up with it for long! What a bloody ridiculous idea!
Lisa didn't say anything, but pointed up, at the camera
John: Oh F&*%!!! [A beat later] It doesn't matter - they only look at the tape if the patient's fitting
Lisa didn't say anything, just pointed to the patient. Who was fitting.
John: Oh F&*%!!! F&*%!!! F&*%!!!