“What You Don’t Want to Hear Me Say at Triage”

[A rerun. I will be back tomorrow. Really. Slightly modified; first posted 27/01/2010.]

“Let me see if I can find a bed for you right away.”

“You look a bit unwell.”

“Your blood pressure is a little low — let’s get a wheelchair.”

“Let’s do an ECG right away.”

“Can I get a stretcher at Triage, stat?”

“Call a code.”

“Your wife can register you while I bring you in.”

“Wait here while I find an oxygen tank.”

“Let’s put a few more abd pads over that cut.”

“How long have you had the black stools?”

“Did the drainage start after you hit your head?”

“At what time exactly did the chest pain start?”

“At what time exactly did you notice the right arm weakness?”

“Can you page the RT?”

“Can you page the doc to the Resus Room?”

The words “ST elevation”, “shock”, “distress”, “hypotension”, “precode”, “neurological deficits”, “CTAS 1“, “actively bleeding” and “new onset” in any context.

If, on the other hand, I tell you it’s going to be a longish wait and send you to the waiting room with a urine specimen bottle, you should be grateful, happy and relieved: you aren’t likely to die.

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