Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Nobody died during my last shift. Normally, I would say that deaths in the ED (at least mine) are a fairly infrequent occurrence. However, for a couple of weeks, I was pronouncing someone every shift, sometimes two a shift. In my defense, all but one of them were dead on arrival, so it really had nothing to do with me, but it still got around to where some of the techs were calling me Doctor Death.
Most deaths at home involve calling patient's primary physician to sign the death certificate, but trauma-related or unexpected deaths get passed on to the medical examiner. During my last conversation with the ME, he asked if maybe there was someone sticking pins in me because it had only been just over 12 hours from the last time that I had spoken to him.
I blame it on summer. When you live somewhere where winter can last for seven months, people are eager to get out on their boats and motorcycles in good weather. Trauma cases seem to peak, not to mention heat-related deaths from elderly people living in hot, older homes with no air-conditioning. Hopefully, July and August settle down some.