ER Example 4

Common Communication Error:

Information overload and “medspeak”: Emergency Room Example 4

Mrs. Irene Shafer is a 50 year old female who was brought in by the paramedics after her husband called 911 as found her down in the bathroom. In the Emergency Room, she is found to be hypotensive, bradycardic with a large antero lateral STEMI. Dr. Robinson stabilizes her and then goes to the waiting room to discuss her status with her husband.

Mr. Shafer: “Doctor, how is my wife doing?”

Dr. Robinson: “She had a heart attack?”

Mr. Shafer: “Heart attack?” But she is only 50. How big is it?”

Dr. Robinson: “Pretty big according to the EKG. I am running some enzymes on her. Already gave her an aspirin. Problem is that she is hypotensive right now. Also the blood work is a little off . Anyway…., I have ordered a fluid bolus. The Cards folks are coming. They will probably cath her. Don’t worry!”

Mr. Shafer: (thinking can-you-talk-to-me-in-English?): “Doc will she make it? I am so worried….”

What was not addressed: “Your wife has had a heart attack. We are treating her already and we are running a few more tests.”

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