Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A few new codes...

Apparently, our hospital has a whole list of "codes" that get called in different situations. I guess I sort of knew this, but most of them are very rare compared to Code Blue. This weekend I learned a few more...

Code Red - This (logically) means fire or that a smoke alarm is going off. Over the weekend, as I was sitting in the ER finishing up some admission paperwork, there was actually a Code Red IN A PATIENT'S ROOM. Looking on my master list of all our patients, I realized it was one of OUR patients. I decided at that moment it is probably poor form if you know that something/someone is burning inside your patient's room not to respond and make sure they are ok. On arrival, I discovered that the reason for this was because the patient's wife, in spite of numerous posted signs and good common sense, decided she could light up a cigarette in the bathroom in a hospital where numerous people are on OXYGEN.

Code Silver - This one apparently means that there is violence somewhere in the hospital or someone feels threatened in such a way that security should respond. I was writing some patient notes on morning and heard them call one of these in the ICU. Inwardly I groaned, because at the time I had two different patients in the ICU - one a very sick Mother who was dying, the other a nice older gentleman whose fiancee had been unpleasant and threatening to our staff the night before, and I figured something could have happened in either of these situations where people could have reacted violently. I meandered down, and when I got there, my suspicions were confirmed. I was told that the fiancee of my gentleman patient had been having a heated discussion with his son, when the son's girlfriend (supposedly a stripper who like to play tennis - I'm not making that up) decided she'd had enough, and backhanded the woman (possibly one of her better strokes?) right in the face, and the fiancee responded somehow, at which point the son felt it was necessary also to throw a chair in her general direction. So basically, it was girl fight. In the ICU. At the bedside of a gentleman who was already in the ICU, and whose condition certainly wasn't helped by all the yelling.

I guess I can say that being a doctor is rarely dull.

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