You know that patient you saw yesterday…

…another in a series.

“You know that patient you saw yesterday?” was how the conversation started.

I did remember, it’s not often I Find the Pony, diagnostically.  A good case, which from my aspect means I had to think, act, and make things happen. Yesterday I was quite pleased with myself.

Now the ‘do you remember’ intro. Never good. Never.

A colleague tells me how the patient I saw yesterday (and made a couple of good, if odd-to-present-at-the-same-time diagnoses) died while getting an x-ray study, in the ED, when one set of their symptoms returned. (Sorry for the vagueness, thank a room full of lawyers who are afraid of their shadows and have rubber sheets).

Darn. The day before, the patient was doing well, thanks to a good diagnosis and getting the right people to buy in and act. And now my patient is dead, from one of the same diagnoses.

Lifetime death rate: 100%. I do what I can, we all do.

But 100% is an absolute. Sorry.


  1. Hi Doc,

    You can punch the clock, do your job, accept a certain percentage of fatalities and shake it off.

    Or you can stay human and get hurt now and then. Thanks for being one of the good guys.

    I suggest that you attend the funeral. Your fellow humans have been doing that for a long time, and it helps a little.