This is a (true) story about a Young, Brash, Cocky and Arrogant doctor, heretofore referred to as YBCA. Most of you know these types in your own practice. Very often they are their own worst enemy. This was one of those times:
Once upon a long and busy ICU shift, we had a patient who finally decided to go into a full-blown cardiac arrest. (Sometimes I get the idea that people do this for lack of anything else to do or just to aggravate us!)
Now, when a code is called in a teaching hospital, all of the residents come running in their various degrees of attire, desperately wanting to show off their newly acquired ACLS skills for the chief. Most are in scrubs with lab coats, but occasionally you get one who has just bought his/her first really nice suit…
On this particular day, the first to arrive was, you guessed it, our favorite YBCA. He showed up in a nice new three-piece Brooks Brothers suit complete with the “good” leather shoes and his class ring to complete the ensemble. (Do not discount the importance of the class ring. This MD has always been one to shove it into everyone’s face and say “Do you know what this is!?” Most people know what a ring is and he is NOT the Phantom!)
Looking very much like the Important New Urban Doctor, he immediately took up station at the side of the bed and began to give orders. Around the time his colleagues and the chief resident got there, it became necessary to “shock” the heart.
Now, we all know that someone yelling “CLEAR!” means that you get away from the bed.
Well, on this day our YBCA didn’t move–he was too busy lecturing the other interns on how the code was being run.
When run through a body, electricity does all sorts of interesting things. It can stop or start a body process, which is what you are trying to do with the heart. On this occasion, it triggered an involuntary URINATION on the person who was still standing with his leg touching the bed.
Yep, the yellow stream ran right down the pants leg of the new suit and into the “good” leather shoes. Right there in front of the chief, the nurses and everybody!
Nobody had to look at “the ring” that day…
I’ve got those yellowstain blues, those silly yellowstain blues (The Caine Mutiny, Columbia Pictures, 1954).