Saturday, 21 May 2011

Um.. Oops?

Yesterday I was the only ward doc, again. It was OK, as the front-half's specialist did her ward rounds herself and I had a grand total of 7 patients to attend to. Or make that 8. It was a calm day.

I started out the week with 12 patients; and ended with 4. Mine all got discharged or turfed. My colleague had one 96-year-old lady who wasn't doing too well, and right from the moment I heard that I was going to be alone on Friday, I had this funny feeling that she was going to pass away on Friday.

She did.

When the nurse came in; I asked the specialist who was going to pronounce her formally. She went. And she left for her OP clinic. Half an hour later the ward administrator came in and asked for the paperwork. I told the med student to phone the specialist. The med student handed me the paperwork. I knew it, that's why I asked who was going to pronounce her. So I basically had to re-pronounce her... and go talk to the family again.

Turns out that once again, the patient's full names aren't registered in our system, and once again I had to ask for them.

'Mary Magdalena'

So I filled out a death certificate for a 96-year-old Mary Magdalena, and she went off to the morgue. And I went off to my free lunch.

At 4:45PM the family phoned. "I'm so sorry, we gave you the wrong names. Her full names are 'Mary Madeleine', not Magdalena."

When I phoned the morgue, she had already gone, together with the paperwork. No worries, the morgue-man (whose number is a fax number) said: he'll let the officials know when they come by on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. I am on call tomorrow all alone. And a similar patient awaits me.

    Wonder what will happen.