* * Anonymous Doc: "It's An Emergency!"

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"It's An Emergency!"

I'm on call, and get a page.  I call the call center.  "Patient says this is an emergency.  Would not say what the emergency is."

That's always fun.

I call back.  The phone picks up, and I hear the patient say, "Hello?"  I respond.  I hear nothing.



She hangs up.

I try again.



She hangs up.

I try one more time.  Same thing.  I call her daughter, since the number is in the chart.  I get her voice mail and leave a message.

Her aide's cell phone number is in the chart too.  So I try that one.

"This is [me].  I got a call saying there was an emergency?  Are you with her now?"

"Yes.  I don't know.  She called you?"


"Okay, let me check."

I hold for a minute.  The aide comes back.

"Yes.  She says she did call you.  The emergency is that her hearing aid isn't working, so she can't hear anyone on the phone."

"I don't know what I can do about that, unfortunately.  Tell her she shouldn't call the doctor and say it's an emergency unless it's a medical emergency.  And if it's a medical emergency, she should call 911."

"I will tell her.  Can you get her a new hearing aid?"

"Where did she get this hearing aid?"


"Then she should probably call Sears."

"Okay.  I will tell her."

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