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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Never Again. . .

. . . will I take a sore throat for granted.  That's what she came in for today.

Four days ago, this chick in her early 20's comes in for sore throat, worried it's Strep.  We check.  It's not.  But her tonsils are swollen pretty good.  Script for antibiotics with instructions to follow up with primary doc.

Never follows up with primary doc.  Never fills prescription.  Why?  Can't afford it.  It's four dollars!  Yet, she certainly has no problem indulging her pack-a-day smoking habit.

Comes back yesterday because of continuing concern for swelling.  Yep, everything's ok.  Follow up with doc.  Take antibiotics.  Again, never follows up.  Never fills script.  Still smoking.

Comes back last night.  Same thing.  Same thing.  Same thing.

Comes back again later the same night.  Says her throat is really sore.  After a little while, the girl states that she "feels like she's drowning."  Her throat is swelling up.  Can't talk to us.  You can hear the voice changes when she does try to talk.  Everything else is hand written communication.  Sats are 95% on arrival.  Soon, they're 93.  Then 90.  Shit.

Steroids and anti-inflammatories given.  Doc says, "time to intubate and transfer."  Pt says no.  Can't afford transfer.  Husband (who I'm pretty sure is in his fifties) says too bad.  Do it.  Pt says no.  I want to go home now.  I feel better.  Doc says, "Ok.  Go home.  You're going to die.  See ya on the other side."  Pt says, via pen and paper, "ok, let's do it."

Pt intubated.  Husband is drama.  Pt saved.  Pt transferred.  Everything went great.  The doc, who is my favorite doc we have, says it was a pretty difficult intubation, even though he got it fast and on the first try.

Another life saved.  Strong work, team.

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