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04 September 2009

Vampire Nights

I haven't been blogging as I worked a series of 5 days followed by an overnight shift, late morning with Grand Rounds, night off and then another overnight shift. I'm just a wee bit tired. My mind has barely mastered the concept of "upright" much less "typing a coherent thought."

One of the thoughts that came to me last night as I was walking the empty hallways of the hospital is how eerie a familiar place can suddenly seem. We occasionally have to leave the E.D. which is located in the basement of the hospital and go up to the second floor to inject a patient who is getting a CT scan with IV contrast. We do this because there is a small possibility that the IV line will infiltrate, or spill its contents into the surrounding skin, during the injection phase of the scan. This is bad. You can get a very nasty skin necrosis with this.

During the day, there are plenty of radiologists around to do the injection, but in the middle of the night, there's only a radiology tech running the scanner, so we get called up. As I walked the empty hallway heading toward the back of the radiology department, I started wondering about all those scenes in horror movies. You know, the one where the unsuspecting person is casually walking along when the scary music starts playing. There might be a sudden soft squeak. Or the sound of a breath. The person stops and looks around. Then walks a little more quickly. The music begins to rise. The person starts to walk faster. That kind of a thing.

I guess I was thinking of scary stuff because we'd had a patient come in with their own little stuff of horror movies. Seems the patient had been sleeping when they felt something near their ear. In their sleep they reached out and felt something warm and furry. They suddenly woke and grabbed it with two hands and ran to the bathroom.

They called out to their father sleeping in the next room. When he turned the light on, the patient realized they were holding a live bat in their hands! The father shot the bat with a BB gun, and they came into the E.D. with the bat in a baggie. The patient needed to start on rabies vaccinations because the bat had actually scratched their ear.

The bat was placed on ice in a container for the Health Department to come and pick up. One of the clerks called it her "pet" since it spent the majority of the morning sitting on her desk, and she had to keep renewing the ice supply. We had quite a laugh at sign out, and everyone had to go look at the bat.

I tell you, we can't make this stuff up...

p.s. a shout-out to one of our attendings, Dr. Jehle (yay-lah) who made the local media following a multi-car pile-up. I was at the General that night so my buddies at the County and Children's suffered through the multiple traumas.

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Julie said...

Yuck, about once a year I get a bat in the house. Fortunately not in my bed...yet. WTG on the good Samaritans.

a corgi said...

oh my gosh with the bat!! can you imagine? I'd be horrified and then probably get one of those mosquito type tents around my bed so this wouldn't happen again

I imagine it would be creepy walking around the hospital late at night with not much other activity; hubby once worked at a hospital where people thought one section of it was haunted; no one liked going into that area alone at night........

enjoy your weekend :)


Lisa said...

As I was reading your entry I immediately thought of horror movies. I can imagine how creepy it would be ~ I find hospitals to be unnerving under normal conditions.

It would freak me out to find a bat at my ear while I was sleeping!

Jeanie said...

I love a good horror or suspense movie! I find it a delight to jump out of my skin as I always think I am prepared for the scare..hehehehe! I never am!
We have bats flying around at dusk above the garden but they are just pipistrelles'. They prefer moths and insects..thank the lord!
I loved your photos from your new cycle route.
Jeanie xxx