Today I am off and Lord am I thankful. Working in the emergency room, most individuals are not privy to the typical Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm type of job. As a scribe, we have shift work and daily my shifts change. Sometimes I have a week when I’m working all day shifts or mostly day shifts with a few mid day shifts thrown in. I even on rare occasions get the dreaded over night shift. Now depending on what type of hospital you work at (private, county, or teaching) this can be the best shift.
But I digress. Like I said, this is my day off. Now everyday earlier this week was bright clouds and the sun was on 10. Today, I’m awoken to lightening storms, howling winds and dark clouds. Like what happened????
But, as I listen to the plopping of the rain on my balcony, I’m praying everyone has a safe commute today. On days like this, a good portion of patients that come through the emergency room are from car accidents.
You’d be surprised by the types of injuries an individual can sustain from a low speed car crash. If wearing a seat belt, they can have severe neck pain, shoulder pain, and stomach pain. All these symptoms can indicate a simple muscle strain but they can also indicate other serious injuries like fractured ribs, torn ligaments, or even ruptured spleen. Now imagine if both cars were going at moderate to high speeds (over 45 miles an hour)? And if you add on top of all the complaints a complicated medical history such as a recent discharge from the hospital due to a transplant of an organ, the list of diagnosis become almost endless.
Like for instance, one day I had a patient with a complaint of shoulder pain after a MVC (motor vehicle collision). Now sometimes if you read the nurses triage note, you’d be able to figure out mostly why the patient is here. For instance we knew the patient was T-boned (hit from the driver side) and swerved into the highway median. When we went to evaluate the patient, the shoulder “pain” was more of a shoulder dislocation! Even if you have no medical back ground, you could see this mans shoulder was not right. On top of that he was complaining of stomach pain and head pain. He also said after his accident he lost consciousness. We asked him what was his last memory and he said he remembers turning the radio down and the next thing he knows, he’s in the back of an ambulance. So after the shoulder was reduced without any medication (he denied sedation), labs and imaging studies were ordered. On the CT scan of his head, it can back positive for a small bleed. Do you know how hard you have to hit your head on the steering wheel to result in a head bleed? Very! Anyway, neurosurgery was consulted and the patient was whisked away to the operating room.
Now, I know this story is more on the severe end, but please everyone, don’t be speed demons. Leave your home with plenty of time to get to work or where ever it is, so you don’t have to rush.
As always, leave a comment, email me with any questions or concerns and Have a blessed day.