Treats from the ER: A Halloween Special

Written by The Rounds

The Emergency Room is no place to expect an ordinary day – and these healthcare professionals will tell you just that. Continue reading to have a laugh or a gasp while we present five noteworthy moments from HCPs and their years of practice…

Til Deaf Do Us Part

“I have been seeing an elderly couple for several years. The wife booked an urgent appointment due to concerns that over the past few months, her husband was not responding to conversations.  During the encounter, she talked the entire time in a loud voice and repetitively said “right dear,”  “you know dear,” almost screaming. Her husband just sat there barely blinking.  The wife’s phone went off and she excused herself (still talking WAY too loud) to answer…..I subsequently started talking to the husband in an equally loud voice…

He turned his head very slowly and said, “Dear, there is no point yelling….I hear you perfectly.  And yes, dear…marriage has made me selectively deaf.”

– Family Medicine Physician, Ontario, Canada

Is the scrotum in the chest?

“When the challenges of a global pandemic forced most of us to pivot to a brave new world of virtual medicine, it was an opportunity to be creative in arriving at a diagnosis from an appropriate physical distance.  However, nothing prepared me for the telephone visit with an elderly lady who was concerned about pain in a very specific region…

After describing her discomfort as being just behind her ‘scrotum’, it took me a while to figure out that the word she meant to use was sternum.

Family Doctor, British Columbia, Canada


4 minutes? More like 4 hours

“It began like any other procedure, I had put the patient to sleep and was busy taking care of other things in the OR such as IVs and arterial lines when the patient suddenly had a bronchial attack. He suffered four whole minutes without oxygen while my team and I worked to restore his breathing — luckily we did. The surgery continued on without complications. I stayed with the patient until he woke up…

He sat up like nothing had happened, turned to me and asked “Hey Doc, what time is it? I have things to get to!”

– Anesthesiologist, California, USA

Sometimes the Doc Needs Anesthesia

“A patient walks into the room, needing a colonoscopy, staring the gastroenterologist in the face and declined the need for anesthesia. Post-op, the doctor stated…

This was a very difficult procedure to do without any anesthesia. The next time the patient will take anesthesia or I will!!

– Gastroenterologist, Ontario, Canada


‘Fast’ Track to Pulmonary Aspiration

“One day in the bay, I was going through the routine of asking my patient if they had had anything to eat in the last twelve hours. He denied it, but I didn’t believe him — so I continued on listing off the risks and possible outcomes if he had ingested anything during that specific time frame. I told the patient, “you know, this is serious, it can lead to pulmonary aspiration meaning food will come back up into your lungs…so you should tell me the truth.”

An 8-year-old boy in the bay next to us ripped the curtain open and screamed “I LIED, I ATE A CHOCOLATE BAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!”

– Nurse Anesthetist, California, USA

There’s more where this came from! Connect with your peers in a secure, gated network and share your stories from your practice.