Sunday, October 09, 2011

red flags inER

Red flags in the ER:
1) You say you have "chemical sensitivities".
2) You have more than 2 allergies.
3) You have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, some kind of syndrome no one has ever heard of.
3) You bring your MRI or CT with you, usually of your back, stating you can't get into see the doctor for a "couple of weeks".
4) You say you just moved here from out of town.
5) You bring a suitcase with you.
6) You brought something in a bag that you want to show me.
7) You can't tolerate the "pain" of an automatic blood pressure cuff.
8) You're allergic to haldol or thorazine.
9) You are 40 and your mother is accompanying you
10) You say another emergency room "don't know what they're doin'".
11) Your medical problem started in 1930.
12) You say "yes ma'am a lot.
13) Your relative is taking notes.
14) The medics want me to come outside of your room to give me report.
15) You are taking more than 3 psych meds.


Anonymous said...

I take exception to the pain with an automatic blood pressure cuff. They really do hurt. I have large upper arms and I have controlled high blood pressure. I have literally cried in a pre-surgery setting from the blood pressure cuff that left bruises on my upper arm.


ArkieRN said...

If someone has a hx of a major illness (cancer for example), they get a break on the number of allergies they can have before the red flag goes up.

Anonymous said...

I don't have or do any of what you have listed, but I do say "yes ma'am." I guess it comes from being raised in the South.

Anonymous said...

I hate complainers.

As an ER nurse.. I love this list.

Nurse K said...

Regarding the BP cuffs: Beyond you being a wuss if you're complaining about it being too tight, it's just tacky to complain about something like that in a setting where many people are likely, if not actually, experiencing the worst pain of their lives...Open fractures, heart attacks, head bleeds, you name it.

hoodnurse said...

9 and 10 have to be my favorites. Only 10 at my hospital is usually a different provider at the same ER, since all the other ones in this particular part of town got shut down by Joint Commission and no one wants to bother themselves to drive 15 minutes to another ER. Seriously, if you're familiar enough with all of our staff to know our doctors names and which ones your prefer, you're probably here too much.

Alice said...

What's wrong with saying "yes ma'am"??

cna classes California said...

I love # 9. When I was 35 my mom actually drove me to the ER. I actually looked in my early 20s so I guess thats why I didnt feel as a red flag went off :) thanks for a great post.

Anonymous said...

I am in Australia - and we call the suitcase a
'positive suitcase sign'.
I once worked in a small ED and we had one regular who would call the ambulance on an almost daily basis for her ' chest pain ' (nothing physically wrong with the woman apart from wanting to get admitted and have the hospital look after her)
Any way - the door of the ambulance would go up and the large suitcase and tv would come out - and I knew who it would be instantly.
Same story each triage.
She eventually went to a nursing home and we thought that was the last we would see of her -but no - she had the staff call an ambulance for her 'chest pain' and when I went to triage and asked why she was here, the woman told me she liked our oxygen better at the hospital, as she smiled sweetly.
And she missed the staff.
We could not escape her

Abernacky said...

Hey in the south it might be odd for you to NOT say "yes maam" a lot.

But in other parts of the country I can see your point.

Anonymous said...

What about people who are actually allergic to families of drugs? Example, anaphylactic shock reaction to drugs with codeine and morphine. What can they do to not be suspect?

K2 said...

Yes, please enlighten us on the "yes ma'am" thing! I think I might see your point; as a pharmacy tech the only ppl who do that are being uber-cooperative so we won't see through their drug-seeking-filling-doctor shopping-pharmacy hopping fiasco. Is that what you're referring to?