Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dysfunctional?

If a man comes in to the ER with his adult child, and in the course of treatment is told that said adult child is suffering from a critical medical condition that requires transport to the Neuro Hospital in the Big City, and that to increase this patient's chance of living through this medical emergency and retaining the ability to say, tie his shoes again, he will need to go via the shiny helicopter, and could he please sign here to authorize the transfer and does he have any questions, and the parent of the adult child's only question is, "If he dies, I'm not gonna have to pay for all of this, am I?".........

......one might think that perhaps they don't have the most loving of families.

13 comments:

Rory said...

Given the over utilization of HEMS when ground EMS would suffice, not to mention the hilariously high cost, I don't blame him.

911DOC said...

if the guy was an acute bleed then the HEMS was appropriate, especially if he gorked out in the department.

but rory, who exactly, if not family, should pay for this? 'cuz right now, if you pay taxes, you are paying. thanks!

keepbreathing said...

I think the appropriate answer would have been to whip out the credit-card swiper and ask him, "visa or mastercard?"

Hey, if he can be an asshole, why can't we?

boredmedstudent said...

LOL.. giving all the er docs portable credit-card swipers to use BEFORE patient interviews would solve a lot of problems in the ER. Good idea keepbreathing. :)

Anonymous said...

One great thing about our job...

It reminds us that our families really aren't that bad!

Rogue Medic said...

That is where having little rooms, off to the side, where you can escort this person, where you can put parenting into perspective, where you can put the parent's physical future into the perspective of how it might parallel the adult child's physical future, . . ., where you can practice your own self-restraint by not killing dear old dad - at least not right away.

Rory said...

re: 911doc,

Of course I think the individual should pay for it, and if they die, then the executer of their estate or guarantor. I loathe collectivists. Conversely, I doubt that the ER staff explained to the either the patient or the father how much this little flight would really cost. If you're going to treat it as a market transaction, which it ought to be, then you need to provide the price for the service you are offering.

Evil Lunch Lady said...

My dad didn't want to call an ambulance when my mother fell and broke her pelvis, for the same reason.

Families, what fun!

Surgeon in my dreams said...

If I had a brother I would swear you had met my family.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Hey, we could start a new government program: if you die in a hospital, your stay is free!!

Let the fun begin!

Barbara Martin said...

Not being in the medical health business, I think the man was being practical. I take it this happened in the U.S. where everything medical costs a lot if one doesn't have medical insurance. The man was just cutting to the chase on the answer rather than read all the material on the authorization form. Would you be able to pay the medical bills if you didn't have medical insurance? Just asking.

I live in a province with governmental paid medical health care which is certainly paid by taxes collected. There are a few items not covered by OHIP, but the person is allowed to ask without getting the third degree behind his back.

Rogue Medic said...

barbara martin,

Do you have children?

If you do, does cost ever matter, when it comes to taking care of them?

You take care of your family and figure out how to deal with the rest after.

He is being practical, if he is buying a car, ordering a meal, or calling a plumber, but not when he is supposed to be making decisions for hid child.

Here in the US we do have socialized medicine. People who don't pay for their care have it paid for by everyone who does pay and by tax payers.

We just pretend it isn't socialized medicine, because we are not fans of honesty.

Barbara Martin said...

Canada's health system, including OHIP pays for health care for everyone, including children, even my own. There are a few things not covered by this health care.

I ask if some of the procedures are warranted by getting a second opinion if time prevails. You can't get elective surgery up here on a whim; and you can't get needed surgery unless you've got a secondary problem that may kill you sooner than the surgical procedure.

The latter happened to me last year. I was lucky...I got in for spinal surgery in late May after seeing the orthopod in February. Usually, one has to wait 2 to 3 years. I'm on blood thinners for DVT and my harrington rod was loose threatening to slide up and out the top of my back. Nice scenario, isn't it? I can just imagine what the paramedics would say in the ambulance... What would you say?