Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

16Aug/085

ER Pearls : Stay Between Crazy and Door

My very pleasant suicidal patient the other day informed me that she would be more than happy to be admitted to the psych ward. It seems that she was a danger to herself, as she has tried to stab herself 5 times with a chef's knife in the stomach, swallowed drano, and hung herself from a tree†. Not all at the same time, mind you, but nevertheless. Dedicated is the word that comes to mind.

I heard from a psychiatrist once that if you don't know how crazy someone is, it's a good idea to keep yourself between them and the door, as you don't want to be backed into a corner by a 250 pound bodybuilder on PCP. So, I hung out near the door, squatting to make myself less threatening, and conversing in quiet tones. She was very nice to me, really.

The shit hit the fan when the nurse tried to go in and draw blood. The first indication that something was wrong was the shrill scream of "I'll kill you, bitch, you and your whole fucking family!!!"

As she sprinted towards the door, gown flapping in the wind, the two security guards in the hall clotheslined her, and then wrestled her over to the isolation room. They finally got her in 4-point restraints, and things seemed to be going swimmingly... until she started spitting, biting, and bashing her head against the guard rail.

Luckily the quick-thinking ER doc ordered up a lovely BAH cocktail (50 parts benadryl, 1 part ativan, 5 parts haldol, and a maraschino cherry for good measure) and within minutes she was snoozing away peacefully.

I love this job :-)

†Impressive, really, because usually the whole "hanging from a tree" gig works.

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  1. I thought it was 2 of ativan? Glad you’ve been enjoying the ED.

  2. Could be, I think it depends who’s mixing it. I know I personally like my martinis dry and my bloody marys very, very spicy…

  3. The hanging from the tree works usually, unless the branch breaks for they’ve misjudged how much length of rope they have and just plummet to the earth.

  4. What, no little umbrella and a mint leaf as garnish?

  5. Maybe the psych ed patients we were seeing were larger/more squirrley/were active alcoholics too.


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