This is what weather in Buffalo, at least to most people's minds, is supposed to be like during the winter. However, the storm system I videotaped on my way to work last week which dumped a bunch of snow has now passed, and all the snow is gone. It sort of feels like spring, but way too early. I know there's more snow coming... I think. At least, I hope! I had planned to go snowboarding on days off because this is my light month.
Regardless of the weather, a strange phenomenon happened in the E.D. today... what if there was an Emergency Department and nobody came? That's about right. At most, we had 2 patients on the board at any one time. I think this morning we might have had 3, but for the most part, just 2, mostly 1.
My patients were unexciting by most means:
"I have a cough and cold and just can't go into work today" - prescription for gaifenesin and a work note
"I have a cough, I don't know why I'm here" - LOLNAD (Little Old Lady in No Apparent Distress, refer to prior posts) sent from nursing home for near syncope (she almost passed out.) Nothing apparently cardiac, but she got admitted for unsteadiness on her feet and a UTI (urinary tract infection)
"I can't sleep because I feel really short of breath" - congestive heart failure exacerbation (worsening) he gets admitted to be "tuned up." His concern was the $287 he was going to have to pay for an overnight stay in the hospital that his insurance didn't cover.
"My son has a temp and has been pulling at his ears." - another chance to play pediatrician. He had some fluid behind one ear drum. Most likely a chronic collection, but we drew a white count (if it's elevated it could signal an infection.) It came back normal, and the child was doing better. Home with instructions for follow-up. Most cases will get better on their own; no need for antibiotics.
"I can't pee and I feel like I have to go all the time." - used my ultrasound skills, and the patient did not have a distended bladder. Urine showed infection, so some antibiotics and off you go...
And, seriously, that was it for my 10 hour shift. We did also have about 3 other patients that I didn't see. Again, nothing real exciting, but the weekend's coming up and the weather's supposed to be turning nasty once again. Pray for big white fluffy snow.