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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Insult To Injury

A nearly 80 year old man lay awake in bed trying to take a nap. His wife, laying next to him, was worried. She didn't think he looked well. He insisted he was alright and refused any help.

About 30 minutes later the old man jump up and ran for the bathroom. Half way there he started to throw up on the hard wood floors. As he tried to round the corner to make it to the toilet the combination of emesis, hardwood floors, and inertia proved too much for him. When his wife found him passed out she called 911.

We arrived to find the gentleman hugging the porcelain god in nothing but his tighty whities. He had managed to crawl over to the toilet after waking up. We collectively decided that dignity is worth a small delay in patient care so we waited while he cleaned himself up and slipped into a bathrobe.

Out in the living room we began to get a clear picture of things. The patient had had an MI about a month ago and had several stents placed. He had only been released from the hospital a few days before. After some prodding he admitted that he had been feeling ill for a couple of hours (that really angered his wife).

The patient wasn't complaining of chest pain but did say that it felt the same as it had when he had his last heart attack. That's an attention getter. While my engineer grabbed a set of vitals I set up for a 12 lead. As soon as we were finished shooting the EKG we put on oxygen and gave him some aspirin.

When AMR showed up we gave them a report along with the 12 lead showing that he was having another MI. We moved him over to the gurney, which the stubborn old guy really didn't like, and AMR sped off to the cath lab.

Poor guy. I hope we caught this one early enough for a good outcome. I guess he's looking at several more days of hospital food. Maybe he'll be visiting the porcelain god again.
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