Of course in the ER we see alot of children with the usual bean up the nose, but we also have seen legos, toy car wheels, dice, beads, stickers, peas, barbie shoes and of course small marbles.
The thing with kids it is innocent curiosity. With adults..hmm that is a whole other realm.
I think I have seen the gamut..
*Fruits and Vegetables *Broom Handles *Flashlights *Sexual Devices
*Car Keys *Gun *Money * Drugs *Forgotten Tampon * Condom
*Drinking Glass *Kitchen Tools * Candles *Meat Products *Moths
*Lightbulbs* Glass Bottles*
My favorite part(if there can be one) of taking care of these patients is finding out WTF they were thinking that led them to my triage room. Some items on the list were self explanatory. But I think others need some more details...
Let's start with the innocent patients.. the ones who on a warm summer night decide to sleep with an unscreened window open and wake at 3am with something crawling around in their ears. It almost always is a moth. After calming down the hysterical patient we flood their ear canal with lidocaine paralyzing the insect and then drowning them making it easier to remove much to the relief of the hijacked host.
The car keys and money..well those were females out on dates and didn't have a purse to place their belongings during a romantic walk on the beach... *think about that the next time you place money in your mouth. The car key chic told us about them in triage.. The money I found when I went to cath a female for a urine sample...surprise!
The gun was also another female. The police were taking her to jail but she kept setting off the metal alarms. She was brought to the ER for exam and a CT showed a loaded gun in her V. She was taken to surgery for removal and then to jail. I would love to have seen the radiologist's face when those films came across his lightbox!!
Forgotten tampon? How can you forget that? That is one I will never be able to understand. Usually it is the smell that brings them in... yuck
Now I am a very open minded person, very liberal in my thinking when it comes to sex, but there are times for even me when I have said enough. One such case was the young, very successful male who came into the ER complaining of abdominal pain. What was not disclosed to the triage nurse was the guy had a sexual device stuck in his nether region. No big deal I thought!
Wrong! It turns out this was the 5th time this had happened. The 5th time that he would need to go to surgery. 5 times!! Are you kidding me?! You would have thought he would have figured out what was going wrong. Well I guess not, so I took it upon myself to do some patient education...
That is part of nursing, but I don't remember covering this topic in class. Must have been napping. So time to wing it. What can I suggest? Stop the practice.. not going to happen why waste my breath. I got it- longer toys! Well maybe, but I think the real solution A LEASH. Tie that puppy to a leash and then anchor it to the bedpost. Can't go wrong there, when things start to get a little "out of hand" just give a little yank and on with the fun.
I thought the idea was genius and should be patented.. The surgeon did not share my excitement, nor did the catholic administration of the hospital I was working at the time. But you know I never saw him again in the 4 years I was there afterward!! Score one for the nurse!