Random ED Weirdness


Three strange things overheard in the ED during my last shift …

Over the police scanner: “I need an available unit to respond to the corner of 5th Avenue and Clark for report of a black male walking down the street with his pants too low. The complainant says that it looks like something dangerous may be weighing down his pockets.” At least the suspect won’t get away in a foot chase.

On a patient’s past medical history: “Allergies include penicillin which causes rash, sulfa which causes rash, Benadryl which causes dry mouth [a side effect, not an allergy], and mosquito bites which cause … itchy red welts.”  The thing that gets me most about this “allergy” is that the docs just dictate it back into the chart with each subsequent admission – like its the real deal. Now we need to keep a can of Deep Woods Off at bedside at all times.

Nurse going off shift to unit secretary: “I can’t wait to go home to watch the new episode of Hoarders.” Sorry, but when the highlight of your day is watching people have nervous breakdowns when garbage is hauled out of their houses, you need to take up a new hobby. Maybe hanging out in the ED waiting room?


    • True story last week in Vegas. Wife missing for two weeks. Search dogs sent into house to get scent, then went out to desert looking for her. Husband saw feet poking out from under bags of stuff she hoarded in house. Yep, it was her. Dogs couldn’t smell her rotting corpse because of all the trash, rotting food, etc. inside the house. (see news story here)

  1. Don’t knock it – for some of us, Hoarders is like The Ghost of Christmas Future. Every time I watch that show, I clean my house and make a Goodwill run. 🙂

    • I watch Hoarders because it makes me feel normal and it makes my usual messiness around the house seem insignificant.

      Kind of like how Lewis Black said: My health club is the International House of Pancakes…because no matter how much you weigh, there is always someone there who weighs AT LEAST 200 pounds more than you!

  2. “The complainant says that it looks like something dangerous may be weighing down his pockets.”


  3. On pants too low… It appears that the correct way to wear your pants is to have the belt line below the buttocks in back but above the genitalia in front – and keep your waist partially bent as you shuffle so the pants don’t fall off.

    This weekend I saw a teenager so attired, skateboarding. He was trying one of those tricks where you jump up a curb while on the skateboard, and missed. I have a suspicion that his inability to fully straighten his legs may have caused a lower jump than he intended.

    In any case, he came down hard on his hip, which evidently had only a thin layer of boxer shorts to cover his skin. By the time he got up (he’d tumbled pretty hard), the blood had soaked his boxers and was threatening his jeans. He was more annoyed by that prospect than by the evident road rash he’d acquired.

    Could have been worse – he wasn’t wearing a helmet, either.

  4. Got to love the part about mosquito bites…gee, same thing happens to about all of us, i think.
    “Hoarders” makes me feel a little better about my housekeeping…….heh.

  5. …and I thought my weekly viewings of “Hoarders” and “Clean House” as motivation to be tidy and clutter free was my own little secret!

    Really, no matter how messy your house is, if there are not petrified animal corpses in YOUR house you are ahead of the game!

  6. hell, that’s the whole reason I went into emergency medicine. Makes me feel better about myself. Kind of like watching Springer or Cops. Except it is a career. That I have to keep at for at least another 20 years….

Leave A Reply