Monday, March 9, 2015

Every Four Weeks

Research indicates that emergency department activity during a full moon is no different than at any other time of the month.

Research clearly shows there is no statistical correlation between moon phase and the number of patients, their acuity of illness, or the occurrence of aggressive confrontations in the ED.

Research can bite my shiny metal ass.

This last full moon night was absolutely crazynuts. We had four cardiac complaints walk in during the first hour of my shift, one of which was a STEMI (an acutely life-threatening heart attack). Two aircraft with critical transfer patients landed right one after the other, so a third aircraft carrying a Code Stroke had to hover and wait for a helipad slot. Ambulances showed up an average of once every thirty minutes, all. night. long.

Every exam room was full, or even doubled up. Some patients had to be treated on stretchers in the hallway. Our major trauma bay was constantly in use for moderate injuries (mostly slips on the ice), because those patients were too bloody to sit out in the waiting room and we had literally no place else to put them.

We had multiple drug-seeking frequent flyers who refused to be discharged without their desired pain meds, and had to be escorted off premises by security. We had the obligatory uncooperative drunk who kept taking his clothes off and wandering bare-assed into the hallway. We had one dude tripping out of his mind on multiple substances, who was hallucinating and violently psychotic, who spent the night in locked leather restraints and a spit mask.

We had a guy who came to the desk and said he didn't need to see a doctor, but wanted to check in anyway so he could warn us about "those Obamacares that watch the people with the computers."

I know we have good and reliable science saying this all is completely unaffected by the pattern of light reflecting from a big orbiting rock. But, damn that is hard to believe sometimes.

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