Top 10 Things you don’t want to see pulling into your ED drop off area…

#8 School Bus packed with kids.

Apparently some generator or something had broken down at the school and the carbon monoxide detectors started chiming. The report on the scene was that they all read low levels, and that all the kids were fine initially when asked if anything was bothering them. But then the teacher started asking specifics, does your head hurt? Does your throat hurt? Does your tummy hurt? And of course every kid now says yes to every question, so they all get packed into the school bus and off to the ED they go!  We of course had to go into mass casualty mode, which was actually kinda fun and a good way to break up an otherwise dull shift. I was out on the bus as it pulled in sorting kids into “sick” vs. “not sick”. Only one for the 30 was even remotely concerning for “sick”. And all the ones that ended up being tested, had their CO levels turn out just fine. Dealing with the pandemonium of a bunch of 4th graders on a spontaneous field trip and their concerned parents was much harder to actually sort through than any of the symptoms the kids had.

About ER Jedi

I’m a resident doctor in Emergency Medicine and I’ve learned during the past few years that 1) I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences 2) I have a very bad short-term memory. So this blog is just a place for me to write about some of these experiences, from the ER, medical school, the wards and life in general. At least that way I’ll have some idea as to where I’ve been all this time. A scrap-book of sorts, a place to vent, organize some clinical tools and post a few good songs I’ve heard along the way.

Posted on October 10, 2012, in Emergency Medicine. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I have a question, can you do a post about Romneys remaks stating that all Americans have healthcare without insurance because they can just go to the ER and don’t need insurance like Obama says. Also how “nobody dies in their apartment because they don’t have insurance”. It seems people have the completely wrong idea about EMTLA and the ER. My understanding is that even if you have cancer or something serious, EMTLA just means that you will be evaulated and you are not in immediate threat of death, you will be told to go to a free clinic/discharged/told to apply for insurance. Also you will still be charged, it’s not “free”. It just means you will be treated if you are dying and not asked for your credit card up front, but after you will be charged and go on your credit report. Am I wrong?

    • I could, but I don’t think I’d want to. Frankly, I find the whole thing incredibly frustrating, and I’m not at a point in my career where I can do much about it. While you are right about EMTALA, no one just does a medical screening and then sends people home, everyone gets seen for their complaint, regardless of how trivial. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen this week for “cold symptoms”. I’ve mentioned this to my supervisors once or twice and everyone was just kinda like….”eh, it is what it is, better see them than get sued for not seeing them”.

  2. We once had a tour bus full of elderly people show up in the ER drive-thru. The local Cracker Barrel had a gas leak and they brought the entire tour group to the ER to be evaluated. Administration wanted all 73 of them direct admitted. I made them triage everyone. I think only one ever got admitted to observation.

  3. At least it wasn’t a bus load of meningomyelocele hemophiliac shunt pts on their way to coumadin clinic!

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