Monday, February 04, 2008

Really Crappy Weekend Ends on a High Note .....
The Good News? The Patriots lost The Super Bowl.

The Bad news? The Flu has descended on my little corner of the world. Oh Lordy. The ER waiting room was standing room only for the entire weekend. I pity the poor bastards who had to come in for sutures or an orthopedic complaint. They'll all be sick as shit in a few days just from breathing the exhaust from the Flu infected hoard that were spewing viral particulate all over the place. Yes, we provide masks freely. No, most folks won't wear them.

We saw about double our normal number of patients both Saturday and Sunday and believe me, nothing says loving like a mob of infected Zombies who have to wait a couple of hours for treatment.

Several years ago, a very good friend and former coworker, Terry, taught me a very useful response for the "How long is the waiting time to see a Doctor?" question.

Answer - "T
here is never a wait if you have a true medical emergency. All other routine medical problems will be addressed in the order of their severity, as determined by the Triage Nurse and may require you to wait before seeing a Doctor."

Very factual and to the point. That response also pisses off a lot of people who suffer from, what I call the, "Moon and Stars Syndrome." Meaning, all that shit in the Universe revolves around them.

Hey, I know they feel bad. I've had the same shit for the last 2 weeks and damn if I didn't feel like shit, too.

Oh, but I wasn't being an asshole, hounding the ER staff to get to the front of the line because, "I'm really sick, Mother F***er and I need to be seen NOW!"

Pardon me if I Triage the little old Lady with Congestive Heart Failure or the 8 month old who is limp, struggling to breath and is the color of concrete, straight into the back ahead of you and your cough, cold and fever symptoms.
Don't come to me and start yelling, "I'VE BEEN WAITING AN HOUR ALREADY AND THEY JUST GOT HERE!" I know how long you've been waiting. I also know that in another hour you'll still be sick, but you won't be dead. Suck it up and try to remember there's more to this world than you and your problem.

It's not like you're gonna be late for work or something.

Triage, on days like this can be a real challenge. My biggest fear is missing someone who really needs to go directly to the back and be seen immediately.

When your ER is over run with patients and emotions are running high, it can get dicey and the possibility of mistakes increases exponentially. It wears you out both physically and mentally. Having your train of thought derailed in this type of environment could be a bad thing if you're in the middle of mixing or administering medicine, etc.

You can't always tell if your coming or going on days like this.

So, what to do if you or one of your kids are running a fever? Take some Tylenol. Take it regularly.
TYLENOL IS NOT A VACCINE! One dose WILL NOT eliminate a fever and prevent it from coming back.

And don't tell me you didn't dose your kid with something prior to coming to the ER because, "I wanted you to see he had a fever."
Dayum, people! I'm gonna believe you if you tell me that your kid has a fever, OK? I'm probably gonna congratulate you for doing the right thing if you're treating it, too.

Pediatric fever is probably one of the biggest reasons for ER visits. Kids get sick and get fever all the time. Treat the fever.

Tylenol. First line. Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen (All the same thing).
Give that Tylenol and in 3 hours, if the little one is still running a fever? Give a dose of Motrin. 3 hours later, more Tylenol. 3 hours later? Motrin.

Seeing a pattern here? Yeah, it's a pain in the ass, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Keep your kids hydrated! Fever dries the little ones out way faster than you'd think. Lot's of water, Pedialyte, etc. Small volumes, but frequently. Like sips every 3-5 minutes. Popsicles are wonderful.

TYLENOL COMES IN A SUPPOSITORY FORM!! This is G-d's gift to parents. Kids won't puke it back up if you stuff a Tylenol Bullet up their ass. Don't ask me why kids vomit all over when their temperature goes up. They just do. The Tylenol bullet makes it easier to keep 'em hydrated and helps with keeping the Motrin down, also.

Suppositories are also a great training device for that child who is difficult and wants to fight you about taking medicine. Even a 2 year old can figure out, pretty damn quick, that taking a teaspoon of medicine beats having a suppository stuffed up the pooper.

And don't tell me, "I can't get him/her to take medicine." YOU'RE BIGGER THAN THEM, DAMMIT! I didn't get to be known as "The Bristly Faced Tower of Terror" by asking my kids nicely to take their damn medicine. Do what you gotta do and remember - Suppositories are your friend!

This rant isn't meant to make you feel bad about taking your kid to the ER for treatment. Far from it. If you're kid is sick, they need to be checked out. But you can avoid a lot of late night trips in the ER, if you apply a little common sense and work at the problem.

You do have a Thermometer , right?

And remember to keep a positive mindset. Good vibes help.

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