WTF Moment #1036


While performing CPR on a patient for the third time in the four hours that the patient was waiting in the ED for an ICU bed, a family member shows up. The family member was invited into the room to watch us perform CPR on his grandmother.

A nursing supervisor asked him whether or not the patient would have wanted to be resuscitated and remain on a ventilator.

The grandson’s response:
“She was into even numbers. If her heart stops beating again, then you can stop because that will be the fourth time that it happened today and four is a powerful number because it is even and it is the total of two even numbers multiplied together AND it is the total of two even numbers added together.”

Several staff members just looked at each other with blank stares.

Oddly enough, grandma passed away on our third resuscitation attempt.


This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on WhiteCoat’s Call Room, please e-mail me.


  1. A friend showed me this post cos he understands me (a math teacher)…

    In case anybody else is looking at that statement about the even numbers and trying to work it out, there is absolutely nothing special about the adding of two even numbers together! Only one even number cannot be done that way – the number two.

  2. Everyone needs an Advanced Directive. Makes things so much better for both family and care providers.

    My mom just passed away Saturday from septic shock. As much as I wanted to say “do everything you can to save her!” she had clearly stated her wishes and we chose for her accordingly. The directive makes it so much easier to look back on this event…no “what if…coulda, woulda, shoulda…”.

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