Top 5 Things Not to Bring to the ER

Better to leave the murder weapon for police

Better to leave the murder weapon for police

People bring all kinds of things with them when they come to the ER. Some of these things can be very helpful to us in treating you. Examples of some very important things that you should have readily available in case an emergency comes up are: a list of your medicines and allergies – or your pill bottles, your medical discharge paperwork from another hospital (if applicable), any chemical you might be having a reaction to or was sprayed into your eyes/mouth/nose, and a severed digit or limb should that ever happen God-forbid.

You would be surprised how many times people come in for care and all they can remember is that they are on “some small white pill” for high blood pressure. I usually try to remind people that there are only about eight colors for pills and over 3000 medicines – so the “little white pill” description is about as helpful as trying to identify a robber by saying he was tall, wore a shirt and had a head.

But every now and again – ok, it’s usually everyday – someone brings with them something that your friendly neighborhood ER staff would rather you just left at home. Here they are in Letterman-style:

5. The bloody murder weapon you used. We’ll be happy to sew up the wound you suffered in your murder attempt before you get hauled off to jail, but bringing the murder weapon in makes for a lot of paperwork for us.

4. The bag of cocaine you suspect is “impure” because it got you so “whacked out”. We don’t do that kind of drug testing and it sort of creates problems for us when we don’t report that kind of thing.

3. Your drunk friends or family members, especially if they don’t like each other. Its also a good idea not to bring your girlfriend if your wife is listed as the emergency contact and will meet you at the ER.

2. Any animal that you think may have bit you especially if its still alive (bat, snake, gerbil, etc.). I may watch Animal Planet with my kids but that doesn’t make me an expert.

And the #1 thing you should not bring to your next ER visit is …

Any bodily fluid (phlegm, poop, vaginal discharge or anything else that came out of your body) that you are concerned about. I promise I will believe whatever you have to say without needing to see it wrapped up in nasty piece of toilet paper, a used tampon or your dirty undies.

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10 Responses to Top 5 Things Not to Bring to the ER

  1. […] Top 5 Things Not to Bring to the ER […]

  2. Heather says:

    I can add a 6th: Don’t bring any hypochondriac relatives, friends etc. basically leave all unnecessary anxiety at the door.

    Cute write up… nice to know for my next murder, lol.

  3. ee says:

    But the nasty things they bring are good blog fodder!

  4. Sabra says:

    And yet, when I went into the ER after my first c-section because I was told that if I passed a clot over X size I needed to go in…and I did, they asked me where the clot was & why I hadn’t brought it with.

  5. MedicMatthew says:

    Recently had a patient present me with a prescription bottle full of poo. I told her that no, we did not need to take it in the ambulance with us. Years ago I got a call for “It burns when I f@*k!” (oh how I hate urban EMS) and was presented with a used condom which the patient attempted to place into my not yet gloved hand, despite my recoil, so I could see the color of his discharge. I threw up a little bit in my mouth and lost my hope for humanity that day.

    • ER Doc says:

      Dude – that story is hilarious! The sad part is that I can totally relate; but I’ll save that for my vaginal foreign bodies post!

    • TUNDE says:

      LOL THAT IS A GOOD ONE. I WONDER SOMETIMES, WHAT DO THEY THINK? I MEANT THE PATIENTS. WHO ARE WE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS… GARBAGE DISPOSAL, WILD LIFE EXPERTS AND KEEPERS, STORAGE FACILITY FOR GUNS SHOVELS AXES, KNIVES, PSYCHIATRIST FOR PSYCHATIC RELATIVES AND PATIENTS, NEGOTIATORS BETWEEN GIRLFRIENDS AND WIFES OR BOYFRIENDS AND HUSBAND TAKE YOUR PICK. I DID FELT ALL OF THOSE AND MORE BACK THE DAYS WORKING AT ER.
      YEH , YOU LOOSE HOPE IN HUMANITY, THAN SOMETHING GREAT HAPPENS AND GET IT BACK FOR A FEW SECONDS JUST UNTIL ANOTHER”ROCKERSCIENTIST TO COME BY AND AND TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU AGAIN.

  6. ChumNuatt says:

    now in my rss reader)))

  7. cypeanype says:

    now in my rss reader)))
    ————————

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