Now, mind you, this is a REAL true story of the ER!
A patient presents themselves at the admitting window and checks in. They give their chief complaint to the clerk who writes their name and complaint on a nurses’ note and gives it to the nurses who then go and “triage” the patient. Triage is a process in which background and related information to the complaint is obtained, and the patient is evaluated for severity of symptoms and the level of urgency or emergency is determined. For example, does this person need to come back immediately, or can they wait their turn in the waiting room?
This particular man came in with a chief complaint of “swollen veins”. Gosh, that sounded interesting. In my mind I was thinking maybe he had a varicose vein or a blood clot or maybe phlebitis or something like that, that was bothering him.
Turns out he was concerned because he noticed when his hands were hanging at his sides the veins on his hands and arms bulged and “got swollen.”
This guy was in his forties. How is it possible he missed the effect that gravity took on his veins for that many years? Had he never looked down until that day???
But trust me, this is not the only person who, it would seem, had never even taken a rudimentary look at their body and got freaked out by something. I’ve got another one for you tomorrow!