THINKING ON YOUR FEET — STRANGE BUT TRUE

THINKING ON YOUR FEET — STRANGE BUT TRUE

Getting ready to start a vacation to Colorado and preparing for a 10-hour drive, I suddenly received an urgent phone call from a referring physician.

“Chuck, I have a patient with an ectopic pregnancy that I need you to operate on.” Explaining that I was just ready to leave, she described an acute emergency that would not wait.

Since Dr. Gary was my main referring physician, I agreed to accept the patient. “Ok, just sent her to Doctor’s hospital.”

At the time Doctor’s was a small hospital in Phoenix. There were no interns or residents; not even anyone to start an IV.

The patient arrived in obvious shock, extremely pale, with a pulse of 140 and a blood pressure hovering around 60. The IV was infiltrated and not working.

I quickly examined the patient and confirmed the diagnosis of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy with an acute abdomen. I explained to the patient that we needed to rush her to the operating room and that she was in serious condition.

The patient was an attractive 26-year-old female, dressed in a Sax Fifth Avenue suit. She looked at me standing over her and said, “No, I am not signing anything. This is just stress because my husband told me he wanted a divorce.”

I tried to convince her of the urgency of the situation without success. It occurred to me that this patient was about to die in front of my very eyes.

In a sense of desperation, I said to her, “Listen, I am a reincarnation of Hippocrates, and I’ve had a lot of prior medical experience.”

She looked up at me and said, “You can do anything you want.” I rushed her to the operating room, fixed the ectopic pregnancy, and within an hour was on my way to Colorado, having turned her over to my associate for follow-up.

Two weeks later she returned for a post-op checkup. While waiting to be examined she said to my nurse, “Is he really a reincarnation of Hippocrates?”

This is a true story, word for word.

Charles Bollmann, M.D.

BARE by Dr Bollmann

BAREdrb.com

 

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