The patient is in line for the full Monty CT scanning – head, c-spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis. He remains clinically stable and his head and C-spine CT scans look good. As the labs start to come back, you realize that his alcohol level is only minimally elevated, so he may have more head injury than is apparent. You start the transfer process (no neurosurgery today).
You do a quick wet read of the abdominal CT scan to rule-out any injuries that would require the services of your general surgeon pre-departure. What does it show?
I did not spend too much time pondering the decision to combine alcohol intoxication with 4-wheeling out in the woods. Early in my career, I might have called him names. Nowadays, I am both more sympathetic and fatalistic. I looked at the trauma nurse, gave a half-grin, and just shook my head. We might judge a little, but mostly we just do our best.